Addressing the Driving Needs of Short Stature Persons
Phase I research on the development of a supplemental seating system for short stature drivers was undertaken by Safe Inc. in 2005. The purpose of Phase I was to demonstrate the feasibility of a device that would improve the ability of short stature drivers to safely operate a motor vehicle and to improve occupant crash safety. The study sought to examine the use of pedal extenders and other improvised devices used by short stature drivers to adjust their seating height and/or reach while seated in and while operating a driving simulator. Additionally, several frontal collision scenarios were simulated (with and without an airbag deployment) using FEA methodologies. Finally, a limited assessment of the market feasibility of a supplemental seating device was performed.
Phase II research is proposed to assess technologies that may be available to aid short stature drivers and to develop and test a prototype device. A literature study will be conducted; information will be sought from trade associations, dealers, and individuals through the conduct of focus groups. A group of short stature people will participated in a Driver Performance Assessment on an open-air, closed circuit driving range to evaluate the utility of the supplemental seating aid.
Small Business Information at Submission:
5032 S. Ash Avenue suite 101 Tempe, AZ 85282-6842
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