A Method to Model Anticipatory Postural Control in Driver Braking Events
Journal article, 2014

Human Body Models (HBMs) for vehicle occupant simulations have recently been extended with active muscles and postural control strategies. Feedback control has been used to model occupant responses to autonomous braking interventions. However, driver postural responses during driver initiated braking differ greatly from autonomous braking. In the present study, an anticipatory postural response was hypothesized, modelled in a whole-body HBM with feedback controlled muscles, and validated using existing volunteer data. The anticipatory response was modelled as a time dependent change in the reference value for the feedback controllers, which generates correcting moments to counteract the braking deceleration. The results showed that, in 11 m/s2 driver braking simulations, including the anticipatory postural response reduced the peak forward displacement of the head by 100 mm, of the shoulder by 30 mm, while the peak head flexion rotation was reduced by 18°. The HBM kinematic response was within a one standard deviation corridor of corresponding test data from volunteers performing maximum braking. It was concluded that the hypothesized anticipatory responses can be modelled by changing the reference positions of the individual joint feedback controllers that regulate muscle activation levels. The addition of anticipatory postural control muscle activations appears to explain the difference in occupant kinematics between driver and autonomous braking. This method of modelling postural reactions can be applied to the simulation of other driver voluntary actions, such as emergency avoidance by steering.

human body model

driver braking

anticipatory postural control

active muscles


Jonas Östh

Chalmers, Applied Mechanics, Vehicle Safety

Chalmers, Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre at Chalmers (SAFER)

Erik Eliasson

Chalmers, Applied Mechanics, Vehicle Safety

Chalmers, Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre at Chalmers (SAFER)

Riender Happee

Delft University of Technology

Mekelweg 4

Karin Brolin

Chalmers, Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre at Chalmers (SAFER)

Chalmers, Applied Mechanics, Vehicle Safety

Gait and Posture

0966-6362 (ISSN)

Vol. 40 4 664-669

Areas of Advance



C3SE (Chalmers Centre for Computational Science and Engineering)

Subject Categories

Vehicle Engineering



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