Tech Center i-protect

Even though vehicle safety has been extensively improved, the number of road casualties with approx. 3,350 persons killed and more than 67,000 severely injured in Germany alone is far from acceptable. The EU strives to reduce the number of road fatalities by 50 % until 2020. This can only be achieved by using integral safety systems, i.e. a combination of preventive, active safety systems with passive safety functions. In this context, innovative safety technologies and new, intelligent materials taking into account the safety requirements of future vehicle generations (for example with regard to electric mobility, hydrogen drive, autonomous driving) as well as changing accident situations (for example due to demographic change, connectivity/big data) have to be developed.

In this context, Daimler, Bosch, and the Sustainability Center have joined to launch the anchor project "i-protect". In cooperation with further partners, the project concentrates on goal-oriented interdisciplinary topics analyzed from various perspectives. This way, a rapid technology transfer is ensured.

Research topics

Research conducted at the Tech Center i-protect focuses on the following topics: 

  • Future testing technologies for vehicle safety
  • Preventive passenger and partner protection: forward warning collision (pre-crash) systems, which enhance and optimize passenger and partner protection
  • Interior monitoring and alternative isolation of passengers from crash effects: systems which record passenger characteristics, adapt the protective actions and take changes of the interior situation and passenger behavior into account
  • Innovative materials in automotive design
  • Accident reconstruction, injury mechanisms and dummies: biomechanical analyses for the development and validation of dummies

Budget and duration

Daimler AG will commission research projects to i-protect’s research partners amounting up to 5 million € within the next five years. Robert Bosch GmbH provides 1 million € for commissioned research. Furthermore, we are planning to apply for public funding from German Federal Ministries and the EU (HORIZON 2020) with future partners.

Partners

  • Technische Universität Dresden
  • Graz University of Technology
  • Klinikum Stuttgart
  • Cluster of Excellence SimTech

Examples of research

©Fraunhofer EMI

In the context of i-protect, the first cooperation projects have already been launched - for example, monitoring interior structures of a car during crash. Modern, lightweight vehicles are made from increasingly complex materials and components. In order to understand the functional design of those structures, X-ray photography and CT analyses are used in research, development and serial testing. To date, the use of X-ray technology had been limited to static analyses. EMI's novel approach allows X-raying highly dynamic deformation processes under crash conditions, and, consequently, facilitates the analysis of a vehicle's interior structures during crash.

This way, the materials and the numerical models can be optimized. As a further step, EMI is planning to combine X-ray photography and simulation with algorithms from computed tomography. With the thus obtained data, we can contrive a 3D image of the highly dynamic deformation processes occurring during a crash, allowing an optimization of simulations and, consequently, vehicle safety.

[Translate to English:] Der Aufbau zum Röntgen-Test am Fraunhofer EMI in Efringen-Kirchen ©Fraunhofer EMI
[Translate to English:] ©Fraunhofer EMI
[Translate to English:] ©Fraunhofer EMI
[Translate to English:] ©Fraunhofer EMI
[Translate to English:] ©Fraunhofer EMI