Dynamic Human Model for Autonomous Driving

To date, human models have been used either in crash simulations to estimate the risk of injury or in ergonomics analyses. In crash analyses, detailed, computationally time-intensive FE models are used for calculations in the range of milliseconds. However, these models are not suitable for the simulation of dynamic driving maneuvers, since longer processes have to be simulated. Human models for ergonomics analysis, on the other hand, are based on simplified motion mechanisms and have so far only allowed quasi-static investigations. Realistic postures and movements for new activities can only be simulated with these models with a great deal of effort.

Simulation of the seating of a FE human body model in the FE model of a vehicle seat.

Strengthening Trust in Technology and its Security

To explore new ways of using the car, to strengthen trust in the technology and to prove its safety new (software) tools are needed to understand customer expectations for (partially) autonomous driving. With this in mind, the group led by Apl. Prof. Jörg Fehr, researcher in the Cluster of Excellence "Data-Integrated Simulation Science" (EXC 2075, SimTech) and deputy director of the Institute of Engineering and Computational Mechanics (ITM) at the University of Stuttgart, wants to create the software prototype EMMA4Drive, which, as a digital image of the occupant, is capable of analyzing and evaluating safety and ergonomics in equal measure during driving maneuvers under dynamic loads.

Among other things, the dynamic model is able to simulate muscle regulation during targeted movements and to evaluate comfort or risk of injury.

Extensive preparatory work by SimTech and others

For this purpose, scientific findings from projects of the Cluster of Excellence 310, the predecessor of EXC 2075, are transferred to the muscle-activated multi-body human model EMMA (Ergo-dynamic Moving Manikin) and further developed for use in (partially) autonomous driving vehicles of the next generation. The ITWM team around project leader Joachim Linn, contributes expertise in multibody-based human modeling and motion optimization to the project. The prototypical human body model EMMA developed there is able to automatically compute new body postures and motion sequences with the corresponding muscle activities by means of an optimization algorithm and provides a very efficient model for a stable dynamic simulation with large time step sizes. The company fleXstructures is so far responsible for the development, maintenance and distribution of the software family IPS including the digital human model IPS IMMA.

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