A new generation of vehicles based on connectivity and high automation (highly automated vehicles, HAVs) will soon be present on our roads - promising fewer accidents and increased safety levels. At the same time, novel safety challenges need to be addressed.

    These include new, currently unknown accident scenarios resulting from future mixed traffic where HAVs and conventionally driven vehicles share the same infrastructure and roads. HAV technology will allow the vehicle to become a platform for the occupants, especially the “driver”. They can use their travel time for other, non-driving related activities. Comfort and convenience enhancing features, such as relaxed sitting positions, rotated seats and even reclined sleeping positions will be available in future autonomously driven vehicles. These aspects will definitely increase the attractiveness of HAVs but require the development of more advanced safety systems for the new sitting positions such as seat belts and airbags that are currently neither considered nor homologated.
    The highest benefit of vehicle safety resulting from automated driving can only be achieved if occupant protection systems are also adapted accordingly. Current hardware-based testing methods and tools will no longer be sufficient to handle the high complexity of future occupant use cases – a combination of different occupant seating position and side activities – and accident scenarios. This also applies to the areas of design, development, assessment and homologation of advanced safety systems for HAVs. Thus improved virtual testing methods will be needed to supplement the development of HAVs. An important emerging design tool for virtual testing (VT) and homologation are advanced biofidelic, omnidirectional human body models (HBMs). HBM can represent a wide range of the population and can be positioned in different seating configurations, which will make it possible to assess vehicle safety in all the interior configurations.
    HBMs have the potential to provide benefits for the design of traditional non-HAVs by taking into account the heterogeneity of the occupant population. As HBMs are not a simulation model of a conventional Crash Test Dummy test device, but of a real human, containing bones, muscle, organs, etc. it is possible to scale them. They are therefore able to depict the characteristics of a broad occupant population. Moreover, they allow injury mechanisms to be studied at a very detailed level, necessary for upcoming new restraint systems in the context of automated driving.
    The OSCCAR project will provide the necessary virtual simulation tools for the development and assessment of advanced automated vehicle safety systems. Supported by a close international collaboration with North American and Asian partners, OSCCAR will lay the foundation for future harmonized virtual testing of advanced vehicle protection systems and the homologation of future sitting positions.
    OSCCAR Key Objectives:
    • Understanding future accident scenarios involving passenger cars
    • Demonstration of new advanced occupant protection principles and concepts
    • Contribution to the development of diverse, omnidirectional, biofidelic and robust HBMs
    • Establishment of an integrated, virtual assessment framework
    • Contribution to the standardization of virtual testing procedures
    • Development of an exploitation strategy towards large-scale implementation of virtual testing methods
    The OSCCAR project brings together 21 partners, including 19 from Europe and 2 from China. The project is coordinated by Virtual Vehicle Research Center in Graz, Austria and will run for 3 years, from June 2018 until November 2021.
    This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement number 768947.

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