Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Designing cars for expectant mothers

04.09.2009
UK researchers have developed a new computer model - Expecting - that can be used as a design tool for automotive designers to help ensure that vehicle designs can accommodate the safety needs of pregnant occupants. They report details in the latest issue of the International Journal of Vehicle Design.

Serpil Acar of the Department of Computer Science, at Loughborough University, Alix Weekes (now at Thatcham MIRRC), and David van Lopik (now at Atkins Aviation and Defence Systems), have worked within a comprehensive research program at Loughborough University to improve pregnant occupant safety.

The overall aim is to produce a pregnant occupant model capable of simulating the dynamic response to impact and predict the risk of injury in automobile crashes.

There are almost three quarters of a million pregnancies in the UK each year and it is fairly certain that a large number of those expectant mothers will at some point during their pregnancy drive, or be a passenger in a vehicle. Thousands are involved in accidents each year and while a relatively small proportion will die, many more will suffer injuries.

The researchers explain that the safety of pregnant women is often compromised because of the changes in their body size and shape that occur during pregnancy. These changes are not limited to the abdominal region, but affect the chest and thigh areas, all of which can affect sitting and driving posture and seat belt use.

Inappropriate seat belt is a significant problem for pregnant women. It is often difficult and sometimes impossible for a pregnant user to get her seat belt into a comfortable position. As such many women take unsafe actions, either hold the belt away from their bodies while the vehicle is moving or do not use a seat belt at all.

Another problem is pressure on the abdomen from the steering wheel in the event of a crash. Researchers have found that more than one in ten pregnant women find the gap between their abdomen and the steering wheel is less than 2.5 cm and for some there is no gap at all. This proximity to the steering wheel may put the placenta at increased risk of abruption from direct impact with the steering wheel.

Acar and Weekes have taken 48 different measurements from 100 pregnant women in different postures and at different terms in their pregnancy to help Acar and van Lopik to create their computer model. The measurements show that even the designers that take into account the measurements of larger men, may still exclude majority of women at the late stages of pregnancy.

‘Expecting’, has been further developed to be the world’s first computational model of a 38-week pregnant car occupant, complete with a detailed representation of a foetus within uterus and it is now used in further research, together with MADYMO, in the simulation of crash scenarios.

Albert Ang | alfa
Further information:
http://www.inderscience.com/offer.php?id=27963

More articles from Automotive Engineering:

nachricht 3D scans for the automotive industry
16.01.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Improvement of the operating range and increasing of the reliability of integrated circuits
09.11.2016 | Technologie Lizenz-Büro (TLB) der Baden-Württembergischen Hochschulen GmbH

All articles from Automotive Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

The interactome of infected neural cells reveals new therapeutic targets for Zika

23.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Melting solid below the freezing point

23.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>