The mandatory use of seat belts and innovative vehicle designs have done much to reduce injury and death from road accidents. Such ‘passive’ safety measures are an important part of any strategy to reduce the number of road accident victims.
The goal of the EU-funded project APROSYS (‘Advanced protection systems’) was to develop and introduce passive safety technologies for all European road users. Project researchers, led by the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), also wanted to increase the competitiveness of the European road transport industry, developing new safety technologies, design approaches and evaluation methods to help boost the efficiency of development processes.
APROSYS received 18 million in EU funding, making it a flagship European initiative in the area of road safety research. The team brought together research and scientific and technological expertise from across Europe and encompassed a wide swath of safety-related issues, including human biomechanics, vehicle and infrastructure crashworthiness, sensing and control, and occupant and road user protection systems.
Researchers conducted a number of human-body, mathematical-modelling analyses, assessing the pre-crash phase and the effects of age and gender on the behaviour of the human body in an accident.
The project also developed a new model of crash test dummy, representing a small female individual, to help assess side-impact accidents. In addition, a new side-impact protection system for car occupants was developed, including a sensor system that combines radar and stereo vision, and active mechanical components.