Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

FP7

COVER Berichtzusammenfassung

Project ID: 218740
Gefördert unter: FP7-TRANSPORT
Land: Germany

Final Report Summary - COVER (Coordination of Vehicle and Road Safety Initiatives)

Executive Summary:

The problems arising from the growth in road traffic are looming ever larger in our daily lives and are impairing the quality of life of everyone . The citizens of Europe may legitimately demand clean, safe, intelligent, high-performance cars. Meeting this demand at competitive prices represents an enormous technological challenge for the European side of the automotive industry, and is also an essential prerequisite for maintaining, or even bolstering, its competitiveness in the future. At the same time traffic-related accidents are still a major threat to life in the European Union, especially when the low average age of the victims is taken into account. In 2005 alone, around 41,600 people were killed and more than 1.7 million injured in European road accidents . Although the number of road fatalities declined down to 34,817 in 2009 , further efforts will have to be made to make European roads safer. This may be particularly challenging taking into account the growing transportation needs of the elderly and the recent expansion of the EU with countries that historically lacked effective safety standards.

Previous research in the field of vehicle passive safety contributed to significant improvements in vehicle and road safety. However, the focus has been on average protective measures optimised for “average occupants” whereas in the real world substantial differences appear under factors like gender, age and size. Brought forward by stakeholders this topic was recognised by the EU Commission and put high on the research agenda under the 7th framework. As a consequence, four projects were executed in this field dealing with two topics of high importance:
• Child safety addressing improved numerical and experimental test procedures for younger children as well as adolescents.
• Thoracic injuries addressing a body part which on the one hand side is highly at risk during collisions as found in previous EU research projects like VC COMPAT, PRISM and FID and on the other hand subject to large biometric variations over age, gender and size due to geometry and material changes in bones.
The projects dealing with child safety are EPOCh (Enabling Protection of Older Children, GA No. 218744) and CASPER (Child Advanced Safety Project for European Roads, GA No. 218564). The projects dealing with thoracic injuries are THOMO (Development of a finite element model of the human thorax and upper extremities, GA No. 218643) and THORAX (Thoracic injury assessment for improved vehicle safety, GA No. 218516).

The general objective of the COVER Coordination and Support Action was to develop a harmonised and consistent direction of research between these projects and to accelerate the implementation of research findings of four complementary research projects in the field of crash biomechanics. This was realised by aligning project plans in terms of dissemination activities and coordinating some joined activities like accident surveys and Post Mortem Human Subject tests.

Project Context and Objectives:
The problems arising from the growth in road traffic are looming ever larger in our daily lives and are impairing the quality of life of everyone. The citizens of Europe may legitimately demand clean, safe, intelligent, high-performance cars. Meeting this demand at competitive prices represents an enormous technological challenge for the European side of the automotive industry, and is also an essential prerequisite for maintaining, or even bolstering, its competitiveness in the future. At the same time traffic-related accidents are still a major threat to life in the European Union, especially when the low average age of the victims is taken into account. In 2005 alone, around 41,600 people were killed and more than 1.7 million injured in European road accidents. Although the number of road fatalities declined down to 34,817 in 2009, further efforts will have to be made to make European roads safer. This may be particularly challenging taking into account the growing transportation needs of the elderly and the recent expansion of the EU with countries that historically lacked effective safety standards.

Previous research in the field of vehicle passive safety contributed to significant improvements in vehicle and road safety. However, the focus has been on average protective measures optimised for “average occupants” whereas in the real world substantial differences appear under factors like gender, age and size. Brought forward by stakeholders this topic was recognised by the EU Commission and put high on the research agenda. As a consequence, four projects were accepted in this field dealing with two topics of high importance:
• Child safety addressing improved numerical and experimental test procedures for younger children as well as adolescents.
• Thoracic injuries addressing a body part which on the one hand side is highly at risk during collisions as found in previous EU research projects and on the other hand subject to large biometric variations over age, gender and size due to geometry and material changes in bones.
The projects dealing with child safety are EPOCh (Enabling Protection of Older Children, GA No. 218744) and CASPER (Child Advanced Safety Project for European Roads, GA No. 218564). The projects dealing with thoracic injuries are THOMO (Development of a finite element model of the human thorax and upper extremities, GA No. 218643) and THORAX (Thoracic injury assessment for improved vehicle safety, GA No. 218516).

The aim of the COVER Coordination and Support Action is to develop a harmonised and consistent direction of research between these projects and to accelerate the implementation of research findings of four complementary research projects in the field of crash biomechanics. To maximise the benefits gained from the individual projects synergies between the projects are exploited by coordinating the exchange and usage of results, joining dissemination actions towards relevant stakeholders, and exchanging of best practices and policies with respect to relevant aspects like test methods and deployment strategies. For the objective of dissemination – both towards relevant high-level stakeholders and the general public – a coordinated approach will be an important factor in providing a clear message and obtaining the necessary visibility. This visibility of research results will be the precondition of the effective deployment in vehicle safety products and enhanced test and evaluation methods.

Specific objectives are:
• Implementation and coordination of joined research activities dealing with human physical (biomechanics) aspects. In particular these relate to:
• Collection and analysis of accident data
• Development of consistent sets of human data related to thoracic injuries as well as data analysis resulting in injury mechanisms and injury risk curves for various ages, sizes, genders and restraint loadings.
• Joint dissemination towards relevant high-level stakeholders in order to provide clear messages and obtain the necessary visibility needed for the acceptance of new test and evaluation methods
• Organisation of workshops and joint meetings between the projects to exchange research findings

To realise these objectives COVER brings together coordinators from all four FP7 projects. Together with partners from the participating projects the coordinators identified joint research activities that have biomechanical knowledge embedded in numerical and experimental tools that enable the design and evaluation of new (improved) vehicle safety technologies.

Project Results:
The COVER project started April 1st 2009. As a first activity an accident survey into thoracic injuries between THORAX and THOMO was successfully completed in 2009 providing a basis for the activities in both projects. Data from France, UK and Germany were considered. Results were presented at the September 2010 IRCOBI conference in Hannover, Germany as well as to the GRSP Informal Group on Frontal Impact and Euro NCAP (see below).
As a basis for all dissemination activities a contact list of over 700 representatives from research / academia; industry; government and stakeholder groups has been generated. It is maintained and updated continuously and shared with other projects like ADSEAT and ASPECSS.
A project website was launched in June 2009 under http://www.biomechanics-coordination.eu/. It provides general information on the project itself as well as for all the underlying projects. Apart from direct links to the underlying projects information and links to main events / conferences are provided. The website is also used for practical purposes like registrations to workshops.

To bring results from COVER and the underlying projects to the automotive community newsletters with results and findings of the underlying projects were published on an annual basis. In total five newsletters (including leaflet) were published. Also public workshops on child safety and thoracic injuries are organised. This included mid-term and final workshops on child safety (presenting results from CASPER and EPOCh) and on thoracic injuries (presenting results from THORAX and THOMO). All workshops were joined by 60 to 90 participants with representation from OEM’s, suppliers, governments and research groups world-wide. In most cases the workshops were aligned with key conferences in the field of vehicle crash safety to facilitate participation. In the third reporting period the final workshop from THORAX / THOMO on thoracic injuries was organised as a special session of the 2012 IRCOBI conference. The session was held at the Friday 14th of September and chaired by Mr Stephen Ridella, Director - Office of Vehicle Crashworthiness Research from NHTSA. In his position Mr. Ridella is responsible for the Biomechanics research activities by NHTSA. The workshop was joined by about 80 participants from industry, governments and research groups world-wide. Results of THORAX and THOMO were presented in the form of reviewed papers in the IRCOBI proceedings as well as presentations during the workshop. In addition to the input from both the EU FP7 projects information from projects in the US was provided by speakers from that region.

In addition to the above various stakeholder visits were arranged:
 GRSP Informal Group on Frontal Impacts: In the April 2012 and January 2013 meetings of this group status and forecast reports were made from the THORAX project. The presentations were made by partners TRL and Autoliv presenting information on the dummy developments and it’s performance in biomechanical and restraint evaluation testing.
• Euro NCAP Frontal Protection Group: Following workshops on dummies and test tools held March 2011 and July 2012 various activities and research findings from the THORAX and THOMO project were forwarded to Euro NCAP. A specific working group was established by Euro NCAP on more advanced assessment criteria for the thorax. Representatives from THORAX project (including BASt, Gie Re Pr, Autoliv) provided input to the discussions in Euro NCAP.
Apart from the assessment criteria it should be noted that also Euro NCAP adopted the fact that female dummies are to be included in future protocols. For the 2015 update they include females in front and rear seats.
 GRSP Informal Group on Child Safety: many of the CASPER and EPOCh partners are directly involved in this Informal Group and information of both projects is directly forwarded. Various meetings were joined (e.g. 33th meeting Sept 2012 - Brussels, 35th meeting Nov 2012 - Brussels, 36th meeting Jan 2013 – Paris, 37th meeting Feb 2012 – Brussels, 38th meeting April 2013 - London). Based on the information provided the informal group is considering the use of the abdominal sensor developed in CASPER, various dummy improvements proposed by CASPER and the Q10 dummy are on the list of implementation in future updates of R44 on Child Restraint testing. Also information from accident surveys and other studies from CASPER / EPOCh are used by this GRSP group to decide on items like sled pulse to be applied.
 Euro NCAP Child Dummy Working Group: Information from CASPER and EPOCh are forwarded to the Child Dummy working group via COVER. This includes a reporting on the performance of the dummy developments as included under COVER task 2.2. Based on the information provided the informal group is considering the use of the Q10.
The above mentioned fact that GRSP and Euro NCAP are now considering the inclusion of a 5th female HIII dummy in future frontal test procedures as well as the Q10 dummy and the abdominal sensors is regarded as a key success of the COVER project. Further testing and evaluation of these tools is planned / ongoing outside the projects to facilitate implementation over the next years.

Potential Impact:
As a Coordination and Support Action, COVER will not produce its own research results other than the in-depth accident data from WP1 as input for involved projects. Expected outcomes are defined as:
• Jointly executed research activities among participating projects
• Joint dissemination of research results of participating projects to key stakeholders
• Increased technical and strategic information gained by partners of participating projects.

As shown during the first reporting period COVER can be vital for an efficient conduction of several European research projects in the field of biomechanics for crash protection by coordinating joint activities and, in particular, arranging for joined dissemination activities. An example of the former includes the successful coordination of the PMHS testing between THORAX and THOMO providing good synergy and maximum output for both projects within the available budgets. The External dissemination as arranged via COVER, is a key factor to create necessary visibility and acceptance at stakeholders. During the first reporting period this was shown by various examples like for instance forwarding the need for inclusion of dummies representing females in future protocols and regulations to Euro NCAP and the GRSP Informal Group on Frontal Impacts. During the second reporting period continued dissemination efforts towards NCAP and GRSP were made on this topic, contributing to the introduction of a 5th female HIII dummy in frontal test protocols by Euro NCAP in 2015. Also, GRSP is considering the introduction of this dummy in frontal regulations in the short term followed by the introduction of the THOR dummy used by THORAX in the long term.
On the child safety side information from CASPER and EPOCh was forwarded to Euro NCAP as well as the GRSP Informal Group on Child Restraint Systems. Also for this topic both groups are using directly the research findings from the EU FP7 projects. Based on reporting’s during the final workshop on child safety and dedicated presentations made to the GRSP Informal Group it was decided to investigate the use of the abdominal sensors developed in CASPER for future regulations on child restraint systems. As this involves the Q10 dummy developed in EPOCh exchange of dummy information and availability of that dummy for use by CASPER was arranged between the projects.
Apart from dissemination of test tools various other outcomes of the projects like accident survey data were forwarded to the indicated stakeholder groups contributing to decisions on items like sled pulse to be applied in Child Restraint Testing.

During the next reporting period COVER will finalize it’s activities by organising the final workshop on thoracic injuries. Also overview reports of CASPER / EPOCh on child safety and THORAX / THOMO on thoracic injuries will be prepared. The purpose of these documents is to provide status information on biomechanical know-how, tools and methods as developed. In particular the readiness of results for usage in legislative and consumer testing applications will be addressed. For this purpose the outline of typical EEVC documentation will be followed including results and information on accident surveys, hardware dummy, numerical tools and test procedure works.

After the completion of the COVER project continued dissemination is foreseen. On the one hand side the COVER website will be maintained for several years after the project as a guide into the underlying projects. Moreover participation to stakeholder meetings will be continued to monitor and support the implementation of research findings into regulations. An approximate timeline is as follows:

General
• 2008 - 2013 Realisation of numerical and experimental tools for usage in the design and evaluation of protection systems by the underlying projects

Child Safety
• 2012 – 2013 Phase II GRSP Informal Group on Child Restraint Systems developing procedures for Isofix seats that use adult belts to restraint the child. Involves Q6 and Q10 as well as abdominal sensor CASPER
• 2013 – 2014 Phase III GRSP Informal Group on Child Restraint Systems developing procedures for booster cushions. Involves Q6 and Q10 as well as abdominal sensor CASPER

Thoracic injuries
• 2010 - 2014 Completion of harmonised frontal impact dummies based on latest biomechanical insight, through close cooperation with NHTSA.
• 2014 - 2020 Implementation of harmonised frontal impact dummy in EU and US frontal impact directives. For the EU the activities will run via the GRSP Informal Group on Frontal Impacts
• 2010 - 2014 Implement know-how in harmonised human body models, considering relevant biometrics (age, gender and size)

List of Websites:

www.biomechanics-coordination.eu

Verwandte Informationen

Dokumente und Veröffentlichungen

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HUMANETICS EUROPE GMBH
Germany
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