8/27/2018 | 1 MINUTE READ

Toyota Finds a Mystery in Occupant Safety for Self-Driving Vehicles

Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

Toyota Motor Co. says its study of how people in self-driving cars react to a near crash proves it will take far more research to improve the safety of occupants in such vehicles, Automotive News reports.

Share

Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

Toyota Motor Co. says its study of how people in self-driving cars react to a near crash proves it will take far more research to improve the safety of occupants in such vehicles, Automotive News reports.

The carmaker has completed a one-year study using 87 volunteers at the University of Michigan’s Mcity test facility. Full results will be presented in October at a meeting of the Assn. for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine.

Toyota’s object was to determine how occupants react to the unexpected and violent evasive maneuvers an autonomous vehicle might take to avert a crash. But the results showed no pattern, says Jason Hallman, the Toyota principal safety and crashworthiness engineer who headed the study.

Hallman says some occupants braced themselves and some leaned one way or another. Others did nothing, allowing the seatbelt system to restrain them. He tells AN that engineers had assumed they knew or could predict an occupant’s posture and reactions. But the study’s inconclusive results prove they need more research to help them know how to make autonomous vehicles safe inside.

Hallman tells AN that Toyota will begin later this year to plan future research. He says the company will seek the input of customers and suppliers in considering next-generation restraints, new types of seating systems and other safety innovations.