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Safety In Motion

Final Report Summary - SIM (Safety In Motion)

The SIM project was co-funded by the European Commission DG RTD under the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) and was aimed at carrying out R&D activities addressing in-depth studies of a suitable and comprehensive safety strategy for powered-two-wheel (PTW) vehicles, proven to be able to reduce road accidents and / or mitigate their consequences. Its main objectives were:
- to identify a suitable integrated safety strategy for PTWs;
- to enhance preventive and active safety based on electronic vehicle sub-systems management and improving human-machine-interaction (HMI);
- to focus on integral passive safety devices.

Powered two wheelers vehicles are an effective solution for mobility in urban context (less the travel time, less the payload ratio, less the fuel consumption respect to cars), since they contribute at solving two out of the three global challenges that every road users have to face daily: traffic jam and emissions. On the other side PTW riders are considered vulnerable road users (VRUs) since in case an accident occurs the consequences for the rider are often more severe compared to car occupants. The huge accidents rate of PTWs and the severity of related consequences for the rider (injuries and fatalities) represent an high costs in terms of human lives and a relevant costs for the society.

The project started with an analysis phase, based on accidentology and effectiveness evaluation, followed by the system development in active, preventive and passive safety areas, then the application phase and the testing.

As a first step a safety strategy was defined starting from an accident analysis and on the other hand preselecting the technology that was fundamental to get to innovative but very concrete solutions. In the previous APROSYS project, seven main accident scenarios have been selected for further investigation. These seven scenarios have been identified as being the most common and severe and were the basic input for the accident analyses in SIM project. In-depth accident databases such as MAIDS, GIDAS 2002 and 2003 and the DEKRA PTW database have been explored. Additionally a detailed analysis of different accident scenarios with PTWs has been performed, using the DEKRA PTW-database. It was demonstrated that the majority of the accidents could have been avoided or highly mitigated with the help of the brake system. The effectiveness evaluation identified the potential benefits of the candidate technologies.

The outcome was a proposal of safety systems requirements and their technical specifications. At the end of the analysis phase, the following safety systems requirements were selected to be developed, implemented and tested:
- active brake system and stability management by traction control and a semi-active suspension system;
- airbag and inflatable wearable device;
- the overall requirements of an HMI management concept for PTW and an enhanced HMI by means of HUD, wireless communication and ergonomic handlebar controls.

Two active systems (advanced brake system and electronic suspension system) have been developed and integrated in the final prototype. The enhanced antilock brake system (ABS)developed consisted of ABS, full integral brake (FIB), active brakeforce distribution (ABD), rear wheel lift-off protection (RLP) and brake traction control system (BTCS) functionalities.

The preventive safety system implemented in the SIM prototype consisted of the information management concept (IMB) for motorbikes and the enhanced HMI devices with the aim of inform the rider about the status of the vehicle and alert him in case of critical conditions.

A cooperative architecture made of frontal airbag and an inflatable wearable device has been implemented as well as an airbag control unit with a specific algorithm for firing the devices.

Final tests conducted on the integrated active safety system demonstrated a strong enhancement of the active safety level by means of:
- increase of vehicle manoeuvrability without drawbacks on rough surfaces with automatic damping adjustment;
- reduction of stopping distances by recognising 'bad road' conditions;
- wheel spin avoidance while accelerating or braking in curve thanks to the dynamic adaptation of ABS and TCS systems;
- low sensitivity of performances respect to rider experience (automatic brake distribution with ABS control);
- comfort improvement.

In the last phase of SIM project airbag jacket and frontal airbag have been jointly tested in full scale crash tests in 413 and 114 configuration with PTW impacting at 48 km/h and a passenger car in static position (moving-stationary) or moving at 24 km/h. From these tests results, the effectiveness of the passive safety systems has been evaluated by measuring biomechanical values obtained on the instrumented dummy, comparing them with data from reference crashes, (i.e. without any passive safety device) performed within APROSYS Project. The effectiveness of the integrated safety systems is demonstrated by the significant reduction obtained for the most relevant injury criteria such as the head acceleration resultant.

The final result of the project was an integrated PTW safety concept vehicle equipped with the most promising active, passive and preventive safety systems applicable to PTWs: a stability management system, an automatic variable damping suspension system, an airbag fitted on the vehicle, a wearable inflatable device and a HMI information management concept for motorbike.

The SIM consortium is confident that SIM has been not only a successful project from a technical and managerial point of view, but also a step in the right direction for future PTW Safety, to be continued in the near future.

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