The Vehicle Safety Institute focuses on research questions from the field of transport safety. Particular emphasis is placed on the research areas of "Accident Research", "Integrated Safety", "Safety Aspects of Self-Driving Cars", "Safety Aspects of Alternative Fuel Vehicles" and "Biomechanics".
# „Accident Research”: The Vehicle Safety Institute runs its own in-depth accident database, CEDATU. Innovative methods are used to combine this data with other data, such as traffic density, to form a scenario cloud. As well as deducing relevant critical scenarios, the institute also focuses on questions of method development for determining the effectiveness of integrated vehicle safety systems (e.g. X-RATE).
# “Integrated Vehicle Safety”: Analysis is undertaken of integrated safety strategies for accident prevention as well as for the reduction of accident severity, taking into account influential factors involving people, vehicle and environment. The institute is developing accident prevention strategies (e.g. AEB, C2X communication) and accident mitigation strategies (e.g. development of innovative restraint systems for self-driving cars, protection of vulnerable road users, child safety, structure safety). In addition to considering accident prevention and accident mitigation strategies separately, integrated safety strategies are analysed, which unite both strategic areas to create one integrated strategy (e.g. activating restraint systems in the pre-collision phase). Research questions are answered using numerical, mostly explicit simulation methods (e.g. human body models,...) as well as experiments (e.g. crash tests, whole vehicle testing on test tracks,...).
# “Vehicle Safety Aspects of Self-Driving Vehicles”: One research focus of the Vehicle Safety Institute is finding relevant scenarios for self-driving vehicles. Furthermore, the institute is working on deducing requirements for vehicle safety systems to, in the best case, make critical driving situations into uncritical situations. If an accident cannot be avoided, accident mitigation strategies are analysed to keep the risk of injury as low as possible for all involved in the traffic scenario. Numerical calculation methods and real drive tests are used to answer the research questions.
# “Safety Aspects of Alternative Fuel Vehicles”: The current central research focus in this area consists of investigations into the multi-physical behaviour of lithium-based traction batteries in vehicles (e.g. cars, PTWs) under crash conditions. Using quasistatic and dynamic experiments with different SoCs, the multi-physical processes are analysed using special tests. At the same time, predicative simulation models are deduced that make it possible to analyse processes in detail and can be used in vehicle design. The Vehicle Safety Institute runs projects such as the "SafeBattery" K-project.
# “Biomechanics”: The research focus of biomechanics is centred on the analysis of people under the influence of high dynamic stress. This makes it possible to analyse injury mechanisms and deduce injury criteria. The analysis of injury risk must be as accurate as possible and kinematic behaviour must be as biofidelic as possible (pre and in-crash) in order to evaluate and optimise safety strategies. Different types of data are used (e.g. accident data, injury data, questionnaires, experiments) as well as detailed analyses based on explicit simulations with numerical human body models.