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Striving for the world’s safest road traffic

The Japanese government in March 2011 issued its 9th Basic Plan for Road Safety covering the five years from fiscal 2011 to 2015. In this plan the government aims to reduce national annual road fatalities down to less than 3,000 and total casualties to less than 700,000 by year 2015. The plan identifies as its three key target areas: a) safety of the elderly and children, b) safety of pedestrians and bicyclists, and c) safety in community roads and trunk roads. JARI hopes to contribute to the reduction of accidents, injuries and fatalities through its testing and research activities related to safety.

Specifically, JARI will reexamine the existing testing methods and research tools with a view to the reduction of accident fatalities and injuries among the elderly and the vulnerable road users (i.e. pedestrians and bicyclists), with the following points of emphasis:

  • For the unraveling of accident mechanisms and for the support of the vulnerable road users, we will utilize our JARI-AR (augmented reality) vehicle, mock roads, driving simulators in order to determine the driver’s behavioral characteristics.
  • We will collect more driving recorder data on elderly drivers and further the development of new crash dummies designed for the study of injury mitigation among older road users.
  • For the revision of the vehicle evaluation test method, we will examine active safety devices (e.g. autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning) and the protection of pedestrian legs.
  • We will push ahead with the medicine-industry collaboration project to study the concept of integrated safety covering all the driving stages and to determine the accident realities.

Principal research areas

Main test items

Regarding passive safety, JARI conducts wide-ranging tests including the collision testing of passenger cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles and bicycles, the sled testing to assess rearend crash protection and the protective performances of child restraint systems, and the impactor testing to evaluate head and leg injuries for the protection of pedestrians. We also carry out impact tests on automotive materials and components. Our equipment related to passive safety includes the crash experiment facility, HYGE sled test setup, pedestrian protection and pendulum impact testing apparatuses.

①Vehicle crash testing

In addition to the head-on crash testing with the test vehicle tugged to collide into a concrete wall or a barrier at a designated speed, JARI implements side and rearend crash tests and the tests simulating vehicle collisions with a motorcycle, a bicycle and a pedestrian. Vehicle crash tests with road structures are conducted at our special testing facility.

②HYGE sled impact testing

Using pneumatic impact testing equipment, JARI evaluates the safety and strength of test samples placed on a sled against impact. Sled impact testing is applied chiefly to determine the protective performances of child restraint systems and of automotive seats against whiplash.

③Component testing

Component testing is applied to various components of the vehicle body, and can be divided into dynamic tests involving actual impacts and static tests involving the application of a constant force to observe any strain and deformation. Dynamic tests outnumber static ones at JARI, as demand is growing for assessing the safety of pedestrians thrown onto the bumper, hood or other automotive components.

In the area of active safety, vehicles need to be evaluated with regard to their running, turning and stopping performances. JARI can undertake a diversity of tests on braking, visual field, lighting, tires, vehicle motion, driver assist systems. Our associated facilities and equipment include mock roads, driving simulators, and tire testing equipment.

④Roadholding ability testing

Roadholding ability involves the basic vehicular motion of running, turning and stopping. The TRIAS braking test is mandatory for the registration of vehicles. Anti-skid systems are tested using a steering robot, while there are a variety of tests dedicated to the assessment of tire properties at JARI.

⑤Research and public work for accident reductio

模擬市街路やEmploying its mock roads and driving simulators, JARI performs accident replication experiments to determine the accident mechanism. We investigate high-risk traffic locations and produce danger maps for school children, and provide hands-on traffic safety education for children in cooperation with adult volunteers.

⑥Machinery management, calibration and programming

In order for the above wide-ranging tests to take place, it is essential to maintain and calibrate the necessary measuring instruments (e.g. accelerometers), sensors (e.g. load cells), data recorders, biofidelic dummies. At the same time, software needs to be programmed to elevate measurement accuracy.

 An impact test for pedestrian head protection

A scene of traffic safety education at school