Occupant Compartment

One of the most important feature of a safe vehicle and what most car buyers are considering is the occupant compartment.

Occupant compartment is a part of a car where passengers are seated. It is also a place inside the car where  passenger relaxes and can sleep during a long trip. The size and location of occupant compartment may differ depending on the model and type of vehicle. This is always found in all passenger vehicles, typically located behind the engine and in front of the trunk or bed. The design quality of a car or truck will affect the safety of the vehicle. Car manufacturers ensure that their vehicles are built and designed to keep damage far from the occupant compartment. Many AUVs have roll bars to minimize damage.  Standard safety devices like seat belts and air bags are also included in a well-designed occupant compartment inside.  Latest manufactured car models feature more advanced systems  for detecting blind spots and warning you if you drift away from your lane.

Most of the mass produced vehicle bodies started over 60 years ago were manufactured from stamped steel components. In 1920’s automakers built vehicle bodies from a combination of wood panels combined with steel brackets.When metallurgist began to improve the formability of sheet steel and toolmakers fabricated heavy-duty dies capable of stamping millions of parts and spot weld technology allowed for joining large body shells, the auto industries started the mass production of cars.

A strong occupant compartment must be crashworthy. Crashworthiness indicates a measure of the vehicle’s structural ability to plastically deform and yet maintain a sufficient survival space for its occupants in crashes involving reasonable braking loads. It measures the ability of the structure and any of its components to protect the occupants in survivable crashes. Control system and occupant packaging delivers additional defense safety measures to minimize severe injuries and fatalities.

The occupant compartment structures including the progressive crush zones must absorb the crash kinetic energy. The structure must maintain the integrity of the occupant compartment and simultaneously control the crash deceleration pulse. The occupant compartment of the car should keep its shape in frontal crashes to protect the driver and the passenger’s space. The dashboard, roof pillars, steering column, pedals and floor panels should not be pushed extremely towards inside, in which they are more likely to injure drivers and passengers. Doors must remain closed during crash and it should be able to be opened after the crash to contribute in quick rescue, while those strong columns provide extra defense in rollover crashes.