Advanced Sensor Technologies for Occupant Protection and Autonomous Driving


Since the introduction of seat belt pre-tensioners and driver airbags in the early 80ties, the requirements to crash sensing and restraint control increased continuously. Starting w/ single point sensing and the focus on frontal crashes w/ full barrier overlap, today all real world accident types and crash severities must be discriminated utilizing up to a dozen peripheral crash satellites. In order to provide optimal occupant protection in all use cases, more than two dozens of occupant protection devices must be orchestrated timely and intelligently. New crash tests mandated by legislation and consumer ratings, such as the frontal offset deformable barrier (ODB) and small overlap crash, the lateral pole crash and truck barrier side impact have permanently tightened the requirements to crash sensing and smart restraint control. Moreover, the occupant protection must be tailored to different occupant classes and dummy sizes such as the 5th % female, 50th and 95th % male and small children in different seat positions, and even occupants out-of-position (OOP) must be taken into account. In the seminar, (predictive-) crash sensors, restraint (pre-) triggering crash algorithms and (pre-crash) occupant protection systems are discussed for various accident scenarios: Frontal- and rear-end collisions, side impact, vehicle rollover, and accidents w/ pedestrians and cyclists. From scratch, the seminar explains simply and understandably the physical principles of sensors and measuring systems, their properties and application specific benefits and drawbacks, the restraint triggering algorithms in particular. A specific focus is on future safety systems and technologies, such as artificial intelligence / neural networks, and new occupant protection systems in autonomous cars. The seminar describes and explains in detail the sensor technologies, their configurations and the occupant protection topologies for all relevant accident and crash types. Sensors are the perception organs of vehicle movements: Recognizing accident risks in split of seconds, they control both accident mitigation systems and occupant protection systems timely, accurately, reliably and effectively. Mechanical Electrical Micro Systems (MEMS) such as micro-oscillators or gyros on the scale of micrometers sense even the most subtle movements and shocks. Besides inertial sensors, pressure sensors and body sound sensors are used in order to increase the Time-To-Fire (TTF) performance and the system robustness in specific use cases. Enhanced Crash Sensing includes rollover sensing to activate curtain bags, side airbags and seat belt pre-tensioners in order to prevent occupant ejection and to mitigate head and neck injuries. The legislation for pedestrian protection requires the deployment of active hoods utilizing sensors integrated in the front bumper. These sensors can also be used to evaluate the vehicle overlap percentage or point of impact in frontal collisions, i.e. small overlap or pole crash. Predictive sensors such as Radar, LiDAR and cameras available in many ADAS and becoming standard equipment in the near future, provide many data useful in optimizing the restraint control and occupant protection. A major focus of the seminar is on the intelligent restraint control: Highly sophisticated restraint triggering algorithms evaluate the optimal TTF for all crash types and severities. Actually, two parameters determine crash severity: vehicle deceleration and vehicle deformation / intrusion. To date, only vehicle deceleration has been the main input in restraint triggering algorithms. However, in many severe accidents, i.e. the small overlap, vehicle deformation is a more important factor. While the deceleration is measured directly, the vehicle deformation must be evaluated by sophisticated signal filtering and mathematical integration. The closing velocity available from pre-crash sensors is the key parameter to calculate the vehicle deformation. Utilizing pre-crash data, along with data from the Electronic Stability Control, an accident risk indicator can be evaluated enabling a significant improvement of the TTF performance. Equally important as information about crash types and severity are information about the occupants, the seat position, the occupant position or out-of-position, their size, weight, age etc. As a result, the occupant protection can be adapted and tailored to these parameters. This will be particularly important in autonomous cars w/ variable seat and occupant positions and other new vehicle interior variances. With predictive sensors becoming more reliable and standard in many vehicles, occupant protection can be increase by protection devices triggered already while a crash is imminent, before the time of collision. This not only true for pre-triggered seat belt pre-tensioners (motorized seat belts), but also for airbags, inflatable cushions and new actuators and protection measures.


The seminar addresses all engineers, technicians and experts working in the development, application and research of occupant protection systems and crash sensing, both at automobile manufacturers and tier 1 / 2 / 3 suppliers. System engineers, project managers and all experts somehow dealing w/ vehicle safety and being interested in current and future sensor and actuator technologies in passive and active safety are very welcome.



  • Sensors for frontal-, rear and side impacts, rollover, collisions w/ pedestrians & cyclists. Satellite sensor topologies and configurations.
  • Crash sensor types. Predictive (surround) sensors (Radar, LiDAR, cameras, ultrasonic).
  • Enhanced crash sensing concepts.
  • Intelligent restraint control and triggering.
  • Current and future occupant protection systems.
  • Synergies of active and passive safety (integrated safety).
  • Occupant sensing. Occupant protection in autonomous vehicles.

Dr. rer. nat. Lothar Groesch
Groesch Automotive Safety Consulting

Groesch For more then 44 years, Dr. Lothar Grösch has been working in vehicle safety, both passive (crash sensing and electronics, occupant protection) and active safety (surround sensors, accident avoidance). First of all working for 18 years for one of the leading OEMs in vehicle safety, another 16 years followed in automotive safety sensors and electronics at one of the major automotive suppliers. Working as a Product Director for Automotive Safety Systems in the US from 2000 through 2009, he is particularly familiar with the specific requirements of the US market, legislation and product liability. Since 2009, Dr. Groesch has been doing consulting business under the name Automotive Safety Consulting with focus on driver assistance, accident avoidance and autonomous driving. Last but not least, he is teaching automotive safety at several universities and has conducted numerous in-house seminars about automotive safety.




Dr. Dirk Ulrich
电话: 06023 - 96 40 - 66


All prices are exclusive of VAT.