Designing a vehicle for superior side impact performance is an important consideration in automotive product development. The challenges involved in this design are many as side impact is a relatively short duration event and interaction between the crash test dummy and vehicle side structure including side airbag (if present) is involved, and engagement of the moving deformable barrier with the stiffer underbody of a car may not always take place (unlike in the case of frontal NCAP test in which the front rails will necessarily play a major role in energy-absorption). The safety engineer nevertheless has to set targets for relevant side crash-related variables in the initial phase of design when very limited information on vehicle structure is available. As shown in the present study, linear regression-based relationships can be utilized for setting quantitative targets for structural response and packaging-related variables for side impact safety design of a new vehicle.

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