A Proactive Ergonomics Framework to Assess A-Pillar Vision Obstruction
Authors: Onan Demirel, Srinam Srinivasan
Abstract: Many automobile accidents involving pedestrians in city driving at roundabouts, intersections, and crossings are related to blind spots caused by A-pillars—vertical posts that straddle the windshield and tie the car's body to the roof. Designers have addressed such problems by changing A-pillars' geometry to improve drivers' forward field of view (FoV). Other high-tech solutions include implementing cameras with integrated displays and proximity sensors to enhance drivers' situational awareness. However, these solutions can be expensive and still do not significantly improve the obstruction caused by the A-pillar. There is a need for assessing concept variants and alternate solutions during preliminary design to assess A-pillar vision obstruction. This paper proposes a proof-of-concept proactive ergonomics framework that integrates generative design (GD) and digital human modeling (DHM) to quantify A-pillar obstruction. Overall, this research demonstrates how the proposed framework provides a rapid and rough ergonomics strategy by enabling designers to assess design attributes early in design proactively. We utilized the proposed framework in a generic case study that compares the concept pillar designs and current conventional pillars regarding their performance in reducing vision obstructions.
Keywords: Digital Human Modeling, Human Factors Engineering, Ergonomics, Human-Centered Design, Design Theory, Vehicle Design, Transportation Design
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