Design and development of side underride protection devices (SUPD) for heavy vehicles
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There exists a large mismatch between the bumper of a passenger vehicle and the ground clearance of heavy vehicles. During collisions between the car and the side of the heavy vehicle, a large amount of intrusion is observed in the passenger compartment due to underride. The results of these collisions often leads to injuries or fatalities. This research aims to develop side underride protection devices (SUPD) to eliminate the incompatibility between the small vehicle’s bumper and bottom of the trailer or box of the straight truck. To successfully design these guards, a regulation for testing the effectiveness of the SUPDs during a side crash was created. Guards were then developed utilizing a topology and multi-objective optimization design approach by applying the proposed regulation. These proved feasible when tested dynamically with the Toyota Yaris and Ford Taurus at preventing underride. Additional guards were then created and tested utilizing an aerodynamic shape to reduce drag and improve fuel consumption.