Presently, most passive safety tests are performed with a precisely specified seat position and carefully seated ATD (anthropomorphic test device) dummies. Facing the development of autonomous vehicles, as well as the need for safety verification during crashes with various seat positions such research is even more urgently needed. Apart from the numerical environment, the existing testing equipment is not validated to perform such an investigation. For example, ATDs are not validated for nonstandard seatback positions, and the most accurate method of such research is volunteer tests. The study presented here was performed on a sled test rig utilizing a 50cc Hybrid III dummy according to a full factorial experiment. In addition, input factors were selected in order to verify a safe test condition for surrogate testing. The measured value was head acceleration, which was used for calculation of a head injury criterion. What was found was an optimal seat angle -117°-at which the head injury criteria had the lowest represented value. Moreover, preliminary body dynamics showed a danger of whiplash occurrence for occupants in a fully-reclined seat.
Keywords: ATD crash test dummy; autonomous vehicle; recline seat; sled test; vehicle passive safety.