Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


How scanning your finger could save your life


Who would have thought taking a simple scan of your finger could save your life?

Unlikely on the face of it, perhaps, but a consortium including Cranfield Impact Centre and Nissan Technical Centre Europe, has developed a prototype bone density scanning system which could be used to improve driver and passenger restraint systems in cars.

The system would work by taking an ultrasound scan of your finger and using the data to estimate the bone strength of each passenger, in particular the chest area which is most vulnerable to seat belt injury during accidents.

This information would then enable the system to assess a person’s potential tolerance to injury and adjust the force of their seatbelt accordingly so it ‘gives’ a little once the brakes are applied and the car begins to decelerate.

It will also adjust the firing of airbags. In cars with dual-stage airbags, for instance the system would be clever enough to decide whether or not to fire both stages.

Ultrasound was chosen because, unlike x-rays, it uses no ionising radiation. This not only makes it a much safer option; its routine use in foetal scans makes it more likely to be readily accepted by the public.

Cranfield Impact Centre’s Technical Director, Roger Hardy, said: "The system could be built into dashboard consoles, the driver’s door or even, when miniaturised sufficiently, into the gear lever.

"It would need to be used each time the car’s ignition was switched on, before the driver was able to move off. In its simplest form, it could be a hole into which you place your finger; the instrument would be powered to lightly grip the finger, take the reading and then release. This would then feed into the restraint system, part of a processing unit in the car, in addition to what is routinely used to detect a go/no-go situation for firing airbags and controlling the seatbelt operating characteristics.

"A lot of the ground work has been done and we’re putting together our final report. We do, however, need to make further investigations before we look to commercialise the system," continued Roger. "We need to assess how it might be integrated into a car; what would be the power consequences on the battery, will it affect the engine management system, for instance – these are just some of the things needing consideration."

Angelisa Conby | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Automotive Engineering:

nachricht When your car knows how you feel
20.12.2017 | FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik am Karlsruher Institut für Technologie

nachricht Did you know how many parts of your car require infrared heat?
23.10.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight 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: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth

23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm

23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>