The European Commission is proposing legislation aimed at reducing the severity of injuries sustained by pedestrians in the event of an impact with the front-end of a motor vehicle. One aspect of this proposed legislation is reducing the pedestrian's leg injuries due to contact with the bumper and frontal surfaces of a vehicle, assessed using a ‘pedestrian leg impact device,’ or ‘leg-form.’
This proposed legislation presents the challenge of designing a bumper system which achieves the required performance in the leg-form impact-without sacrificing the bumper's primary function of vehicle protection during low-speed impacts. The first step in meeting this challenge is to understand what effects the front-end geometry and stiffness have on the leg-form impact test results. These results will then need to be compared to low-speed impact performance to assess if the two requirements are compatible.
This paper describes an investigation-using concept Finite Element models and a front-end variable geometry vehicle test buck-of the styling and engineering tradeoffs for a pedestrian safe bumper system.