Computational occupant modelling has an effective role to play in investigating road safety. Realistic representation of occupants is very important to make investigations in virtual environment. Pregnant occupant modelling can help investigating safety for unborn occupants (fetuses) however, existing pregnant occupant models are not very realistic. Most do not anthropometrically represent pregnant women and do not include a fetus model.
‘Expecting’, a computational pregnant occupant model, developed with a view to simulate the dynamic response to crash impacts is briefly explained in this paper. The model is validated through rigid bar impacts and belt loading tests and used to simulate a wide range of impacts. ‘Expecting’, possess the anthropometric properties of a 5th percentile female at around the 38th week of pregnancy. The model is complete with a finite element uterus and a realistic multibody fetus which is a novel feature in models of this kind.
In this paper, the effect of further developments to ‘Expecting’, by incorporating a finite element fetus head model is investigated. Further detailed anatomic geometry is used to generate deformable fetus head model. The model is used to simulate a range of frontal impacts with seatbelt and airbag, as well as no restraint cases. The strains developed in the utero-placental interface are used as the main criteria for fetus safety. The effect of incorporating a finite element fetus head in the pregnant occupant model is discussed.