Integrated bicyclist protection systems - potential of head injury reduction combining passive and active protection systems
Paper i proceeding, 2015

In recent years both pedestrian passive and active safety systems, such as pedestrian bonnets/airbags and autonomous braking, have emerged on the market and are estimated to be effective to reduce injury of vulnerable road users in car crashes. A natural next step is to develop similar protection systems for bicyclists. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential bicyclist head injury reduction from passive and active protection systems compared to an integrated system.

The German In-Depth Accident Study (GIDAS) database was queried from 1999 to 2014 for severely (AIS3+) head injured bicyclists when struck by passenger car fronts. This resulted in 34 cases where information was sufficient for both the pre-crash and the in-crash part of the event. The default passive protection system was designed to mitigate head injuries caused by the bonnet area, A-pillars, and the lower windscreen (instrument panel) area (deployable hood and windshield airbag). To estimate the hood and airbag performance risk reduction functions were used based on experimental tests with and without the systems. The active protection system was an autonomous braking system, which was activated one second prior to impact if the bicyclist was visible to a forward-looking sensor. Maximum speed reduction was estimated using road condition information in each case. The integrated system was a direct combination of the passive and active protection systems. Case by case the effect from each of the active, passive and integrated systems was estimated. For the integrated system, the influence of the active system on the passive system performance was explicitly modelled in each case. A sensitivity analysis was performed varying the coverage area of the passive protection system and the activation criteria of the active system.

The integrated system resulted in 29%-62% higher effectiveness than the best single system of active respectively passive protection system in reducing the number of bicyclists sustaining severe (AIS3+) head injuries. These values were statistically tested and found to be significant. The study is based on representative data from Germany, but may not be representative to countries with a different car fleet or infrastructure. This study indicates that integrated systems of passive and active vulnerable road user countermeasures offer a significantly increased potential for head injury reduction compared to either of the two systems alone.


Rikard Fredriksson

Autoliv AB

Arian Ranjbar

Autoliv AB

Erik Rosén

Autoliv AB

24th International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles

24th International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles
Göteborg, Sweden,


Transportteknik och logistik

Övrig annan teknik


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