As a culminating engineering activity option, design, build and test pedestrian-safe bumpers for a toy car using wireless sensors.

Key Question

How can the front ends of vehicles be designed to minimize pedestrian injuries in a crash?

Student Directions

  1. View the Introduction video.
  2. Download and print the Student Activity Sheets.
  3. On Day 1, assemble the track, prepare the sensor, and measure the baseline crash pulses of your unmodified car (complete Parts A, B, and C of the Day 1 activity sheet).
  4. On Day 2, design, build, and test pedestrian-safe bumpers for your car (complete Parts D, E, and F of the Day 2 activity sheet).
  5. On Day 3, share and compare your results with other groups. Work collaboratively with your group members to answer the Analysis and Crash Questions on the Day 3 activity sheet.
  6. Before working on Crash Question 3, watch the "Performance of pedestrian crash prevention varies among midsize cars" video located in this lesson's Video Gallery (see above). CAUTION - VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED: The video contains dramatic footage of a vehicle striking a child-size crash dummy and may not be suitable for younger students.
  7. View the Conclusion video located in the Video Gallery (see above) and finish answering the Analysis and Crash Questions.
  8. (Optional) View the Understanding Car Crashes video segments on g/Acceleration and/or Impulse located in this lesson's Video Gallery (see above) to help you answer the Analysis Questions.
  9. (Optional) View the "A New Chapter for IIHS Vehicle Research" video located in this lesson's Video Gallery (see above) for additional information on automatic emergency braking systems and other crash avoidance technologies.

Acceleration: the rate at which velocity changes. Calculated by dividing the change in an object’s velocity by the time interval of that change.

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems: AEB systems help prevent crashes or reduce their severity by automatically applying the brakes for the driver. The systems use on-vehicle sensors such as radar, cameras or lasers to detect an imminent crash, warn the driver and apply the brakes if the driver does not take sufficient action quickly enough.

Crash pulse: A vehicle crash pulse, sometimes called a deceleration curve, is a graph illustrating the change in acceleration of a vehicle over the total time of a crash.

g unit: used as a unit of stress measurement for objects undergoing acceleration; calculated as the ratio of an object’s acceleration or deceleration relative to the baseline of acceleration due to gravity at sea level (9.81 m/s2).

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About

As a culminating engineering activity option, design, build and test pedestrian-safe bumpers for a toy car using wireless sensors.

Key Question

How can the front ends of vehicles be designed to minimize pedestrian injuries in a crash?

Students

Student Directions

  1. View the Introduction video.
  2. Download and print the Student Activity Sheets.
  3. On Day 1, assemble the track, prepare the sensor, and measure the baseline crash pulses of your unmodified car (complete Parts A, B, and C of the Day 1 activity sheet).
  4. On Day 2, design, build, and test pedestrian-safe bumpers for your car (complete Parts D, E, and F of the Day 2 activity sheet).
  5. On Day 3, share and compare your results with other groups. Work collaboratively with your group members to answer the Analysis and Crash Questions on the Day 3 activity sheet.
  6. Before working on Crash Question 3, watch the "Performance of pedestrian crash prevention varies among midsize cars" video located in this lesson's Video Gallery (see above). CAUTION - VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED: The video contains dramatic footage of a vehicle striking a child-size crash dummy and may not be suitable for younger students.
  7. View the Conclusion video located in the Video Gallery (see above) and finish answering the Analysis and Crash Questions.
  8. (Optional) View the Understanding Car Crashes video segments on g/Acceleration and/or Impulse located in this lesson's Video Gallery (see above) to help you answer the Analysis Questions.
  9. (Optional) View the "A New Chapter for IIHS Vehicle Research" video located in this lesson's Video Gallery (see above) for additional information on automatic emergency braking systems and other crash avoidance technologies.
Vocabulary

Acceleration: the rate at which velocity changes. Calculated by dividing the change in an object’s velocity by the time interval of that change.

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems: AEB systems help prevent crashes or reduce their severity by automatically applying the brakes for the driver. The systems use on-vehicle sensors such as radar, cameras or lasers to detect an imminent crash, warn the driver and apply the brakes if the driver does not take sufficient action quickly enough.

Crash pulse: A vehicle crash pulse, sometimes called a deceleration curve, is a graph illustrating the change in acceleration of a vehicle over the total time of a crash.

g unit: used as a unit of stress measurement for objects undergoing acceleration; calculated as the ratio of an object’s acceleration or deceleration relative to the baseline of acceleration due to gravity at sea level (9.81 m/s2).

Teachers

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