Volkswagen engineers are optimizing small-car occupant protection by identifying the complex interactions of vehicle structures and passenger restraint systems. Their theoretical and empirical studies of frontal impact show the importance of a balance between structural deformation and integrity, and of restraint devices that preload and limit forces on the occupants. Also, the engineers propose an Evaluation index for assessing overall performance of modern restraint systems. The investigations described here focus on seat-belt systems, particularly VW's passive restraint concept. Their goal was to study the feasibility of increasing potential impact speeds without compromising current deformation dimensions or safe levels of occupant response to frontal impact. A vehicle's structural contribution to frontal crashworthiness is at least two-fold: its front end must deform at a rate optimal for energy absorption, and its passenger compartment must retain its integrity to give adequate survival space. VW engineers emphasize the importance of roof strength in obtaining the latter.

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 26-31
  • Serial:
    • Automotive Engineering
    • Volume: 86
    • Issue Number: 5
    • Publisher: Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)
    • ISSN: 0098-2571

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00183269
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Engineering Index
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 29 1978 12:00AM