Smart sensors to reduce head trauma

Event data recorders could reduce traumatic brain injury from car accidents

Published on 22 November 2019

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Claire Baker (Imperial College London, UK) writes in Concussion Zone about how on-board car sensors could be utilized to reduce the effect of head trauma.

 Her work is a multi-disciplinary research collaboration between Imperial College London and TRL that seeks to truly advance ways of diagnosing traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) caused during road traffic collisions. Bringing together international experts from across the fields of vehicle safety, trauma biomechanics, neurosurgery and emergency medicine, the AutoTriage project aims to develop a novel technology that has the capacity for significant societal benefit.

Dr Phil Martin, Head of Biomechanics at the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), says:
“With the European Parliament’s recent historic adoption of ground-breaking updates to the General and Pedestrian Safety Regulation (GSR), a total of 17 life-saving advanced vehicle safety technologies will be introduced across the EU vehicle fleet.

“Event data recorders (EDRs) are fundamental to the GSR requirements, which mandate the installation of EDRs on new vehicle types from 2022 onwards. These regulations require the collection of anonymised data from the full suite of in-vehicle sensors, using these to support in-depth collision investigations and future vehicle safety research. The AutoTRIAGE project therefore provides an important opportunity to maximise the future life-saving potential of EDRs fitted across the future EU fleet.

“The proposed use of in-vehicle sensor data to perform real-time predictions of TBI severity and pathologies during road traffic collisions is truly novel. Should the potential of the AutoTriage solution be realised, it would provide emergency responders with an immediate prediction of TBI risk and pathology, allowing resources to be deployed through the emergency response chain in the most effective and timely manner possible. The potential life-saving benefits (and cost-saving gains) of AutoTriage cannot therefore be underestimated.”

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