NHTSA’s PROPOSED FRONTAL OBLIQUE IMPACT TEST PROTOCOL: ANALYSES AND EVALUATION

Paper #:
  • 2017-01-1475

Published:
  • 2017-03-28
Affiliated:
Abstract:
On December 2015, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published its proposal to implement U.S New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) changes beginning in 2019 model year. The proposal included a new frontal oblique impact (OI) test protocol which comprises of a new Oblique Moving Deformable Barrier (OMDB), new THOR 50th% male dummy, and a new test configuration? An OMDB of 2,486Kg impacts a stationary target vehicle at a speed of 90Kph at an angle of 15 degrees with a 35% barrier overlap. In vehicle-to-vehicle collisions, the lighter weight vehicle experience higher velocity change, thereby, occupants in the lighter vehicle experience higher injury risk. This paper describes the analyses of a 31 OI tests conducted by NHTSA, in which the target vehicles used were of different sizes and weight distribution ranging between 1034Kg-2624Kg. Deformation Energy (DE) in the OMDP was calculated from the honeycomb deformation and stiffness. Target vehicle DE was determined and compared to its 56Kph NCAP. THOR dummy responses were plotted against Velocity Change. Results indicated that target vehicles absorb more DE in OI compared to a 56Kph full frontal barrier impact. Lighter weight vehicles, in particular, have to manage 50-60% more DE. Larger vehicles with similar weight to the OMDB manage approximately same DE as in the 56Kph full barrier impact. Stiffening lighter vehicles for OI may have negative impacts on other attributes such as Fuel Economy, vehicle compatibility and stiffer crash pulse, which may lead to elderly and rear seat occupant safety degradation. THOR dummy injury responses in NHTSA’s OI tests showed weak or no correlations with velocity change. The proposed OI mode did not demonstrate the expected injury trend with velocity change. Other issues may exist with the barrier mass, stiffness, THOR or test configuration. Further research is needed to develop appropriate OI test protocol.
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