Project: APROSYS - Advanced Protection Systems (TRL)

Reference: S0432/V8

Last update: 05/05/2011 10:57:58


This contractor is involved in the following sub-projects of the APROSYS programme:

SP1: Car Accidents, which contains three research Work Packages plus a management task:
WP1.0: Sub-project co-ordination and management
WP1.1: Advanced side impact and compatibility
WP1.2: Advanced frontal impact
WP1.3: Advanced safety functions
As the contractor is the sub-project leader, they are involved in all of these work packages including the sub-project management.

SP2: Heavy Truck Accidents, which contains two main Work Packages:
WP2.1: Advanced vulnerable road user protection systems
WP2.2: Enhanced opponent vehicle occupant protection systems
The contractor is involved in both of these work packages.

SP3: Pedestrian & Pedal Cyclist Accidents, which is made up of 4 Work Packages:
WP3.1: Real world accident data
WP3.2: Impact conditions
WP3.3: Testing methods
WP3.4: Vehicle system technologies
The contractor is only involved in work packages 3.1 & 3.3.

SP5: Biomechanics, which contains three main Work Packages:
WP 5.1: Improved injury criteria
WP 5.2: Anthropometric test devices
WP 5.3: Human body modelling
The contractor is only involved in work packages 5.1 and 5.2.

Full details can be viewed on the APROSYS website at


Road traffic accidents claimed the lives of around 40,000 people and a further 1.7 million were injured in the European Member States in 2001. This represents a huge cost to society (around ?160 billion or 2% of the Union's GNP) [European Environment Agency, 2003]. Road traffic accidents are the primary cause of death in the Union for people under 45 [European Commission, 2003]. The EU has therefore committed itself to reducing the number of persons killed in road traffic accidents by half between 2000 and 2010 (European Commission, 2001). Similarly, the UK Department for Transport has set the target of reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured by 40 %, slightly injured by 10 % and children killed or seriously injured by 50 % by 2010 (compared with the 1994-1998 levels) [DETR, 2000].

As part of its strategy for achieving these targets, the EC has funded an Integrated Project on passive (secondary) safety as part of the 6th Framework. Passive safety for vehicle occupants refers to the protection offered by a vehicle when involved in an accident. Core considerations for improving passive safety are human biomechanics (injury mechanisms and criteria); vehicle and infrastructure crashworthiness; and occupant and road user protection systems. Passive safety is an important component of an integrated strategy for reducing the number of casualties among road users. In the UK, Broughton et al [2000], demonstrated that the biggest contribution to casualty reduction in the period 1980-1996 was from passive safety.

The APROSYS Integrated Project (IP) on Advanced Protection Systems focuses on scientific and technological development in the field of passive safety. APROSYS aims to offer a significant contribution to reducing the number of road accident victims in Europe through the development and introduction of critical technologies that improve passive safety for all European road users in all relevant accident types and accident severities. Furthermore, APROSYS aims to develop new safety technologies and evaluation methods that will increase the efficiency of the development process of the involved industries.

The EC 6th Framework project APROSYS (an acronym for Advanced Protection Systems) addresses all significant aspects of secondary, or passive, safety. The APROSYS consortium of 47 partners is made up of 7 major vehicle manufacturers, 11 suppliers, 13 Universities, 14 research institutes and 2 representative bodies. This consortium represents all of the major players' involved in vehicle secondary safety work across Europe, and the project, at a total value in excess of ?35 million, is one of the largest ever commissioned as part or the EC Framework Research Programme. The project will generate a major step forward in secondary safety understanding and technology, with a consequent impact anticipated on road casualty figures.

In the previous 5th Framework Programme, projects were commissioned by the EC for specific subjects such as protection of children in accidents, studies of Whiplash injury, and so on. In the 6th Framework, all these subjects are to be addressed as part of the APROSYS subject, and the EC is providing ?18m of funding towards the total project value of ?34m. From the scale of the project, it is apparent that the outcomes will have significant impact and influence over the future direction of secondary safety measures implemented in Europe in the near to medium term future.

To reach the project goals, the emphasis within APROSYS has been placed on the issues with the greatest fatality and injury reduction potential, as well as on issues not tackled by previous, current or planned research activities. On the basis of a 'state of the art' review, the following scientific and technological objectives have been identified:
. Development of new injury criteria and injury tolerance values for injuries with high societal relevance including head injuries, lower leg and injuries in children and elderly.
. Development of new mathematical models of the human body both for the crash and pre-crash phase accounting for arbitrary body sizes.
. Contribution to the development of a new world-wide harmonised mechanical model of the human body (or crash dummy) for representation of a small female car occupant in side impact collisions.
. Development of knowledge and tools enabling the design, implementation and evaluation of intelligent safety systems with special emphasis on new sensor and actuator technologies and generic test methods for the evaluation of pre-crash sensing based systems.
. Significant enhancement of virtual testing (numerical simulation) technology for the design and evaluation of crash protection methods with special emphasis on reliability, efficiency, representation of real world accident conditions and implementation in a regulatory environment.
. Development and validation of evaluation methods and development of advanced protection systems for injury reduction of pedestrians and pedal cyclists impacted by the front of passenger cars, with special emphasis on injuries to children and elderly. Both the primary impact (impact with the vehicle) and the secondary impact (impact with the road) will be studied.
. Development and validation of evaluation methods and development of advanced protection systems including compatibility strategies for injury reduction of car occupants for the most relevant car-car accident types, being front and side impacts.
. Development and validation of evaluation methods and development of advanced protection systems for injury reduction in the most relevant type of accidents involving heavy trucks:
1) accidents involving vulnerable road users, and
2) passenger cars striking the side of a truck.
. Development and validation of evaluation methods and advanced protection systems for the reduction of the number and severity of injuries.


TRL Limited
Crowthorne House, Nine Mile Ride, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 3GA
+44 (0)1344 773131

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £1,083,950.23

Actual start date: 16 April 2004

Actual completion date: 31 March 2010


Public deliverables for each work package of this programme are published on the APROSYS website as they become available
Author: Various
More information:

APROSYS SP1: Status Review IHRA Test Procedures
Publication date: 01/09/2005
More information:

APROSYS SP5: World SID 5th Female Requirements
Publication date: 01/04/2005
More information:

APROSYS SP5: Workshop World SID 5th Female Introduction
Publication date: 01/02/2006
More information:

APROSYS SP5: Test Report WorldSID 5th Percentile Female Dummy Heidelberg Sled Tests (AP-SP52-0042)
Author: Hynd, Willis, Couper, Carroll, Torcal-Serrano (TRL)
Publication date: 01/03/2007

Summary of results

  1. The APROSYS Integrated Project (IP) aided the development and introduction of critical technologies that improve passive safety for all European road users for priority accident types and levels of crash severity.