Laboratory of Accident Analysis, Biomechanics and Human Behavior
The LAB, Laboratory of Accident Analysis, Biomechanics and Human Behavior is a private research laboratory funded under the GIE PSA Peugeot-Citroen / Renault. It was created more than 40 years ago while the number of deaths on the roads was growing rapidly (up to reach 18,034 people killed on the roads of France in 1972). Since this number has declined but 3388 people were still killed on the roads of France in 2014.
The laboratory is one of the first links in the complex chain of road safety since its objective is to understand the accidental mechanisms and the injury mechanisms experienced by road users in accidents. These data are analyzed and used by the manufacturers to establish the specification and evaluation of vehicle safety systems that are restraint systems, or primary safety driving assistance.
Currently the LAB is organized around three areas:
– Accident analysis (primary, secondary and tertiary) focused on real road safety. It includes a collection of parameters describing the accident to identify and quantify risk factors, understand the etiology of accidents and injuries. These data are then used to assess a priori or a posteriori effectiveness of safety systems in order to reduce the number and severity of accidents.
– Biomechanics of impact aims at understanding the mechanisms of injury and the tolerance of the human body during impact. By trial-and-loop calculation, it helps to define the specifications of restraint systems and tools to validate them (models and numerical models).
– The study of driver behavior helps to better understand the factors of distraction and inattention of drivers. This activity was initiated in October 2012 with the commitment in the European U-DRIVE project. It is a “naturalistic study”, which aim is to have a better understanding of the behavior of the driver through vehicle driving data collection and cameras.
16 permanent staff are working in LAB (9 Renault and 7 PSA) divided into the three areas and including the management and an assistant.
Research projects are carried out at the initiative of the departments of manufacturers which request it (top down) or at the initiative of LAB (bottom-up), to anticipate and develop knowledge, methods and tools that will be useful to the future. Some projects are supported by the French government (eg project VOIESUR: accident analysis in France funded by ANR (National Research Agency)) or in Europe (eg CASPER on road safety for children).
The LAB has lots of collaborations: CEESAR (European Center for Safety Studies and Risk Analysis), IFSTTAR, universities, UTAC, suppliers.
The LAB is looking to the future road safety and tries to anticipate problems French manufactures will face: electric vehicle safety, safety implications of communicating vehicles and of automated driving.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 610453.