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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'

23.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

'Quartz' crystals at the Earth's core power its magnetic field

23.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Antimicrobial substances identified in Komodo dragon blood

23.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>