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Ann Adv Automot Med. 2010;54:203-14.

Potential Occupant Injury Reduction in Pre-Crash System Equipped Vehicles in the Striking Vehicle of Rear-end Crashes.

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Virginia Tech-Wake Forest Center for Injury Biomechanics.


To mitigate the severity of rear-end and other collisions, Pre-Crash Systems (PCS) are being developed. These active safety systems utilize radar and/or video cameras to determine when a frontal crash, such as a front-to-back rear-end collisions, is imminent and can brake autonomously, even with no driver input. Of these PCS features, the effects of autonomous pre-crash braking are estimated. To estimate the maximum potential for injury reduction due to autonomous pre-crash braking in the striking vehicle of rear-end crashes, a methodology is presented for determining 1) the reduction in vehicle crash change in velocity (ΔV) due to PCS braking and 2) the number of injuries that could be prevented due to the reduction in collision severity. Injury reduction was only performed for belted drivers, as unbelted drivers have an unknown risk of being thrown out of position. The study was based on 1,406 rear-end striking vehicles from NASS / CDS years 1993 to 2008. PCS parameters were selected from realistic values and varied to examine the effect on system performance. PCS braking authority was varied from 0.5 G's to 0.8 G's while time to collision (TTC) was held at 0.45 seconds. TTC was then varied from 0.3 second to 0.6 seconds while braking authority was held constant at 0.6 G's. A constant braking pulse (step function) and ramp-up braking pulse were used. The study found that automated PCS braking could reduce the crash ΔV in rear-end striking vehicles by an average of 12% - 50% and avoid 0% - 14% of collisions, depending on PCS parameters. Autonomous PCS braking could potentially reduce the number of injured drivers who are belted by 19% to 57%.

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