Pedestrian safety and the future of car design
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View Poll Results: Do you think these regulations will ruin cars?

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  • Yes, they will look silly

    6 46.15%
  • No, the 70's "safety car" revolution didn't stop cool ideas coming out

    2 15.38%
  • The new longer front overhangs will destroy car dynamics

    4 30.77%
  • Car dynamics are always improving, so we have nothing to worry about.

    4 30.77%
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  1. #1
    nJm
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    Default Pedestrian safety and the future of car design

    There was a very interesting article in The Age's DRIVE section today about this. New regulations have been introduced for implementation in October 2005.

    The regulations include:
    • Applies to all new car types after October 2005. Cars already on sale have seven years to comply.
    • Intoduced in two phases: first in 2005, then tightened in 2010.
    • Four tests: bumper on leg, bonnet edge on pelvis, child head on bonnet, adult head on bonnet.
    • Bumper on leg test different for large 4WDs (bumper height above 500mm) to reflect different type of injury caused.
    • In 2005, vehicle has to pass leg test and child head tests. Bonnet-edge test is "monitored" only. In 2010, bonnet-edge test mandatory, adult head test added.
    • Speed of head test increases from 35km/h in 2005 to 40km/h in 2010.
    What they mean:
    • Soft 65-mm crumple zone for bumper bar. Extends to 80mm in 2010.
    • Gentle 150-mm crush zone on bonnet edge for upright vehicles such as 4WDs.
    • New crumple zones likely to extend front overhang
    • SUV bonnet line likely to be lowered by 250mm.
    • Complext bonnet design. Softer in some parts, stiffer in others.
    • Up to 70mm of space above engine/suspension turrets or pyrotechnic bonnet.
    • Advance headlights with soft covers.
    • Widespread use of clamshell bonnets and/or soft wing edges.
    • Longer-term: more compact engines and suspensions. Possible return to rear engines.
    Anyway, the implications are that regular sized cars will have the bumper bar as the highest point at the nose of the car. As the article mentions, cars like BMW and Mercedes which use large, upright fan grilles will be either extremely difficult to style to keep this feature or they will have to do something else. The new Peugeot 407 is a perfect example of how cars will start to look at the front. It has no fan grille, opting instead for a large air intake in the bumper. You must either have a sloping bonnet like the Peugeot does (similar to 307 etc) or adopt a clamshell bonnet to cover suspension turrets yet keep a lower height in the centre of the bonnet.

    It also mentions that for now small sports cars will not have to comply as no one has yet worked out how to make them look good with the new regulations.

    4WD vehicles might start to look either silly, or just unecessary for people to own. The regs require the bumper to sit under 500mm, however to maintain crash worthiness apparently this would require a deep skirt to spread the load in an impact. This would then interfere with its offroad ability. The pelvis test is the biggest problem for SUVs, to pass most will have to lower their bonnet edge by 250mm. The article then mentions this will imply a sloping, Mazda MPV-style bonnet, "a look that's never been seen before on a 4WD and a huge challenge for designers."

    I found this article very interesting as a friend working in Holden's engineering department a few years ago predicted exactly this. He said the next all new Commodore was going to look very different, with the bumper as the highest edge on the nose of the car, and either no fan grille or a very small one sloped back into the bonnet. As the next Commodore has the strong potential to replace the aging Opel Omega in Europe and various GM cars in America, it will need to comply to the world standards.


    So what do we all think of this?

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    Last edited by nJm; 27th November 2003 at 09:12 AM.
    Nick
    1983 Peugeot 505 GR


    "All of its cars from the 1.1 litre 205 through the ugly duckling 309 to the 2.2 litre 505 GTi had a rightness and a righteousness about them that turned every humdrum drive into a journey. Someone, I once wrote, in the bowels of Peugeot understands handling and how a chassis should feel." - Jeremy Clarkson

  2. #2
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    Is this an Australian only regulation??

    If it is Australia only, kiss most O/S makers goodbye...they aint gonna spend squillions on a tiny market like Australia.....some wont even pay for ADR's.....

    Regardless.... 2005 is ridiculous for an introduction date.

    Most manufacurers cars for 2005 would already be signed sealed and almost ready to deliver...

    Or do they mean any model thats development starts after 2005?

    I think a better Idea would be to mount about 6 huge airbags into the front of a softish bumperbar, connected to ultrasonic sensors/impact sensors...

    I suppose if you hit a roo you'd be a bit shitty when the front bumper and Airbags have to be replaced...But you could have them operating only below say...70 kph..above that, the goodyear blimp could hit ya and youd probably die..

    It would be more expensive, but alteast the victim would have more chance of survival......and Car Makers wouldn't have to throw away 25 years of aerodynamic and packaging advances...

    Thats my anyway
    Last edited by mistareno; 27th November 2003 at 09:18 AM.

  3. #3
    nJm
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    The article mentions that it is coming into force in Europe in October 2005, but it implies that it is a world wide thing.
    Nick
    1983 Peugeot 505 GR


    "All of its cars from the 1.1 litre 205 through the ugly duckling 309 to the 2.2 litre 505 GTi had a rightness and a righteousness about them that turned every humdrum drive into a journey. Someone, I once wrote, in the bowels of Peugeot understands handling and how a chassis should feel." - Jeremy Clarkson

  4. #4
    1000+ Posts Damien Gardner's Avatar
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    HOORAY bout time all Bull Bars were Outlawed.
    They certainly wouldn't fit the new criteria. The next progression, would be the phasing out of SUV's, without Bull/Flora bars they migt scratch their big beastie.
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  5. #5
    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    If it saves lives, I don't care what the car looks like.

  6. #6
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    i think it s all getting a bit wierd.....i m not sure who is pushing this idea (insurance companies, american lawyers etc etc...there must be a lobby group behind it....)......to be quite frank...ITS GETTING to the point of stupidity...what the hell are pedestrians doing (illegally more than liekly in most accidents)on the road anyway....???!~!!

    frontal design of vehicles should take some consideration whaen it comes to pedestrian based acciedents but MAJOR component of the design should be to prioritise PROTECTION of occupants in the event of vehicle to vehicle crashes....

    What will the new regulations mean to BUSSES, TRUCKS....or even TRAMS ....

    I m sorry if i m in anyway sounding insensitive to anybodys sensiblity here (maybe u ve had a friend or somebody hit by a vehicle)...but i really believe that
    this should not be allowed to affect design (both aerodynamic and occupant safety wise).....

    accidents will keep happening and i think many new cars are much safer when it comes to pedestrian injuries.....but surely we must draw some kind of a line...

    i m also concerned how this type of design will affect the occupant safety where
    large or small creatures of alll kind are hit on our aussie roads...will it have a positive effect or negative....


    at the end of the day...roads were built for cars, trucks buses and trams...etc....

    than there is the bycicle element and the motorbike.....how about the occasional horse and rider or the guy/gal in the wheelchair......just getting stupid....i d hate
    to see or hear anybody getting hurt but i d suspect in many of these cases its what we r trying to PROTECT that is behind the cause of the acciednt in the first place...drunken crossing, kid running out, girl chasing a tram......yet we have to live with the conequence of their illegal behaviour....


    cheers

    dino

    ...again....apologies if i ve come across as being insensetive.....but we all live by the rules (not always) hence designs should be affected by law not by the consequence of what happens when we break them....

  7. #7
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    I'd suspect a lot of this is coming from Europe - the Europeans are really the only ones that have been pushing this in EuroNCAP, the only major testing scheme that actually evaluates pedestrian safety. Unfortunately whilst car manufacturers have been advancing leaps and bounds in passive safety for occupants, pedestrian safety has been on the back foot. Most cars barely make two stars for pedestrian safety.

    I don't think these measures will compromise occupant safety - in fact they seem to improve it with growing crush space. I don't think aerodynamics will be adversely affected, frankly I think the obsession with aerodynamics died years ago.

    The Civic hatch proves that you don't need to throw packaging away with such measures, I'm still convinced it's one of the best packaged cars on the market. According to that article, it's currently the most pedestrian friendly car on sale and would meet 80% of Phase II requirements.

    It's not cheap to make a car pedestrian friendly, I was speaking to a Holden engineer discussing the New S40 and the first thing he started talking about looking at the front of the car is the design with regards to pedestrian safety. Why do the car's shoulders extend to the bonnet,with the raised 'V' section above the engine - more crush space above the engine in a pedestrian impact. Simple things like the positioning of the battery (a hard angular unforgiving object beneath the bonnet) are all factored in - placing the battery in the boot is the safest place to put it, but it's also by far the most expensive. Cars like the Astra don't have the battery well placed for pedestrian impacts, as it's basically situated at the head impact point.

    Expect pedestrian friendly design to send low speed impact costs up. You'll have more components which will require replacement.

    Quote Originally Posted by nJm
    It also mentions that for now small sports cars will not have to comply as no one has yet worked out how to make them look good with the new regulations.
    This seems like a strange reason to offer an exemption.

    Quote Originally Posted by nJm
    4WD vehicles might start to look either silly, or just unecessary for people to own.
    Yippee, yahoo!

    Just in regards to safety, something you may find interesting is that ABS is compulsory on new cars next year in the EU. What a great idea and I'm fairly confident you'll see it filter down here - it wouldn't surprise me if the 206 finally gets standard ABS downunder next year.

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  8. #8
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    Maybe I should stop driving on the footpath!

    I dont think the regulation nessaraly imply that the bumper be raised to bonnet line. What figure is that the profile of the bumper will change so you can still have a similar look. However the softer area 'plastic" of the bonnet would be extended forward. I dont see that the change in regs nessitate "ugly as cars" or poor handling dynamics. In fact it favors traditional sports cars. if for example the engine is shifted further behind the front wheels, and the area foward of that be increased. also it favors having the engine alot lower in the bay relative to the ground which may improve handling.

    I really dont see the point of designing a car to collide with a pedestrian. I always thought cars were to get you from one place to another. Not to encourage hit and run. It really seems ridiculous to design for such a slight incidents risk. maybe its road kill sensitive?


    I am going to have a look at my road road stat thing from tac and cops see how many pedestrians actually get killed each year being struck by a vehical.
    Last edited by PugMad; 28th November 2003 at 03:17 PM.

  9. #9
    Fellow Frogger! briz205's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Has anyone stopped and looked at trucks?? Why do all this bullsh*t to nice cars when you have these flat front trucks driving up and down the streets! And most of oz cars are over 10years old so we wont see any of this filter through to the streets for at least 5 years or so. I really think everyone is getting abit over the top! We have to die somehow and the worlds over populated as it is!

    My

    Nick

  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger! lucin's Avatar
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    was thinking,

    maybe there should be a campaign to teach people to jump when they're about to be hit by a car ... that way they'll just bounce over the bonnet and windscreen and all ... and maybe if it's an old lady or a kid the car can have some adjustable front ride height suspension (go you cits!) which will lower the front bumper sufficiently to "scoop" these silly people over ... that's a thought.
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  11. #11
    nJm
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    I don't really have an issue with these new regulations. Sure they are going to help in any pedestrian crash, but it also will make cars more crash-worthy anyway. How can we argue with SUVs getting a lower and sloped nose? That will really help in side-impact crashes into cars.

    I just see this as the design direction we were heading in anyway. You can look at just about any car built in the 80s, and it just looks very 80s - lots of straight lines and sharp edges. The XF Falcon, TN-TP Magna and Volvo 740 are all examples of this. So the cars of the 'naughties' as some call it will be very sleek, aerodynamic looking things. I think most manufactorer's concept cars over the past few years have reflected this. Citroen, Peugeot, Mercedes, Toyota etc all have rather streamlined looking cars coming out.

    Some of you die hard fans could say that Citroen had some of these design cues back in 1955...
    Nick
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    "All of its cars from the 1.1 litre 205 through the ugly duckling 309 to the 2.2 litre 505 GTi had a rightness and a righteousness about them that turned every humdrum drive into a journey. Someone, I once wrote, in the bowels of Peugeot understands handling and how a chassis should feel." - Jeremy Clarkson

  12. #12
    XTC
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    In the end it's a 1-2 tonne piece of metal hitting a 50-80kg "sack of water", and while I think it's great safety is getting a lot of attention, driver education (and pedestrian education for that matter) will be the key to reducing the road toll.

    As for SUV's ... yes it's about time they got tough on them.

    - XTC206 -
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucin
    was thinking,

    maybe there should be a campaign to teach people to jump when they're about to be hit by a car ... that way they'll just bounce over the bonnet and windscreen and all ... and maybe if it's an old lady or a kid the car can have some adjustable front ride height suspension (go you cits!) which will lower the front bumper sufficiently to "scoop" these silly people over ... that's a thought.

    See Jackass in america were a 16 year old attemped this! and his mates and he were jailed for Hitting him with a car (Deliberatly) cause he did not jump high enough he did not clear the car, and put rather large arse mark in the roof.

  14. #14
    XTC
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    Quote Originally Posted by PugMad
    See Jackass in america were a 16 year old attemped this! and his mates and he were jailed for Hitting him with a car (Deliberatly) cause he did not jump high enough he did not clear the car, and put rather large arse mark in the roof.
    Jackass is trained professionals(idiots), anyone trying to duplicate their stunts is even more stupid then the Jackass crew.

    - XTC206 -
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    Quote Originally Posted by XTC206
    Jackass is trained professionals(idiots), anyone trying to duplicate their stunts is even more stupid then the Jackass crew.

    - XTC206 -
    These guys were not trainned! They were attempting to make a film for Jackass. as you rightly say "even more stupid then the Jackass crew"

  16. #16
    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by briz205
    Hi,

    Has anyone stopped and looked at trucks?? Why do all this bullsh*t to nice cars when you have these flat front trucks driving up and down the streets! And most of oz cars are over 10years old so we wont see any of this filter through to the streets for at least 5 years or so. I really think everyone is getting abit over the top! We have to die somehow and the worlds over populated as it is!

    My

    Nick
    i think they should put truck drivers cabins down to the level of the motorist and see how they drive then
    i bet they would crawl up the arse of some poor person and scare the living doot out of them then
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