The overall objective of the AEROFLEX (AEROdynamic and FLEXible Trucks for Next Generation of Long-Distance Road Transport) project is to develop and demonstrate new technologies, concepts and architectures for complete truck to make them more efficient, safe, comfortable, configurable and cost-effective. Furthermore, the project should ensure that the constantly changing needs of the customers are satisfied by being flexible and adaptable with respect to each of the operational conditions. These new configurable truck concept should meet the future logistics and co-modality needs of the different segments and markets. The project has involved the development of potential architectures for an innovative Front End Design which will improve safety and help to ensure survivability in crashes up to 30 km/h for Vulnerable Road Users (VRU) and 50km/h for truck-to-vehicle crash scenarios. Thus the work in this paper will be focused in the Pedestrian protection. As to the current vehicle pedestrian protection activities, the accident scenarios were assessed using accidentology data. Using all the data collection some generic assumptions were defined to study the most common VRU accidentology. VRU injury criteria and kinematics were analyzed by Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) simulations. Those simulations were preformed in both LS-DYNA and Madymo software. The first phase of the LS-DYNA simulations was to define and determine the Key Performance Indicators [KPI] with a Human Body Model (HBM). The front-end design was simulated in pedestrian impact conditions using Human Body Models (HBM). This simulation allowed an agreement of the fatal injuries KPI and the evaluation of the kinematic conditions in the moment of the impact between the truck and the human body. In second phase, the equivalence between the simulation procedure to be followed when using HBM and pedestrian protection impactors (head impactor and upper leg impactor) was identified. The objective of introducing these impactors was to increase the repeatability in the test and propose impact area as is the common use in the conventional vehicles. The third phase gave some general guidelines to improve the frontal part of the truck to make it less aggressive to pedestrians. Thus, further pedestrian protection simulations were run using head and pelvis impactors and evaluating the results as per current pedestrian protection protocols from the European Market. The simulation results made it possible to propose and validate some conceptual changes on the front-end design that remarkably improved the VRU protection level of the design.
Mr. Mario Perez Donaire, APPLUS IDIADA, SPAIN Mr. Genis Mensa, APPLUS IDIADA, SPAIN Mr. Giuseppe Cordua, CNH Industrial, ITALY Mr. Michael Jänsch, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, GERMANY