Huo, F. and Wu, H., "Predicting the Head-Neck Posture and Muscle Force of the Driver Based on the Combination of Biomechanics with Multibody Dynamics," SAE Technical Paper 2017-01-0407, 2017, doi:10.4271/2017-01-0407.
Biomechanics and biodynamics are increasingly focused on the automotive industry to provide comfortable driving environment, reduce driver fatigue, and improve passenger safety. Man-centered conception is a growing emphasis on the open design of automobile. During the long-term driving, occupational drivers are easily exposed to the neck pain, so it is important to reduce the muscle force load and its fatigue, which are not usually considered quantitatively during traditional ergonomics design, so standards related are not well developed to guide the vehicle design; On the other hand, the head-neck models are always built based on the statics theory, these are not sufficient to predict the instantaneous variation of the muscle force. In this paper, a head-neck model with multi DOFs is created based on multibody dynamics. Firstly, a driver-vehicle-road model considering driver multi-rigid body model, vehicle subsystems, and different ranks of pavement is built. It is driven on different kinds of road with different velocities, and the accelerations in three different directions around the neck are recorded as the input loads. Then the ligaments, tendons and muscles around the neck are represented by different force elements, further the neck and head are formed as an inverted pendulum with three degrees of rotational freedom. The model is utilized to predict the head-neck muscle force by the usage of recorded input loads. By the comparison for various vehicle parameters, kinematic posture and muscle forces, it can be judged whether the vehicle is well engineered to protect drivers from neck muscle fatigue and neck injury. This work may not only help the designers to make the vehicles much more humanized, but also give some advice to the drivers on avoiding some health hazard.