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Technical Paper

Occupant Restraint System; An Overview With a New Definition

The vehicle occupant restraint system is given a new definition to accommodate the new occupant restraint systems. This new definition is modeled after the classical automatic control theory. The flexibility of this new definition permits its expansion to adopt any future regulations and expectations. A need to achieve the optimal protection for a range of crash and occupant scenarios in addition to a variety of restraint system configurations is spelt out, and intelligent restraint system which will incorporate this is defined and discussed.
Technical Paper

Seat and Airbag Design to Mitigate Frontal Crash Lower Limb Injuries

Although lower extremity injuries are not life threatening (AIS less than 4), they are very debilitating and require long periods of rehabilitation. A possible cause of the ankle/foot injury in frontal crashes is the foot dorsiflexion resulting from intrusion of the toeboard. Ankle injury on the driver side in the same type of crashes may also be caused by the foot eversion or inversion as it slides off the pedals. In both cases, it is believed that bracing the leg is a major contributor to the injury mechanism. Another contributor to lower extremity injuries is leg interaction with the instrument panel (IP). This paper describes an activated seat design that acts to eliminate the interaction between the lower extremities and the vehicle interior. It also reduces the interaction between the legs and the IP by limiting the forward travel of the lower torso. Three different design approaches are presented in the paper.
Technical Paper

Lower Limb Biomechanics

Normal motion of the lower limbs is discussed in this paper. The biomechanics of human gait has been studied experimentally using an instrumented walkway and analytically by means of mathematical models. Experimental methods for measuring ground reaction forces and limb kinematics are discussed. If limb kinematics are known, they can be used to compute the resultant joint forces and moments, using equations of motion which are algebraic in form. To obtain limb kinematics from the differential equations of motion, the problem is generally redundant, the degree of redundancy being equal to the number of unknown joint moments. The computation of muscle, ligament and bone contact forces from known resultant loads is also a redundant problem because there are more unknowns than there are available equations. For these there is no general consensus regarding the best objective function to be minimized.