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Taxonomy of drivers' ingress and egress strategies for recreational vehicles using sequential movement of body segments

Taxonomy of drivers' ingress and egress strategies for recreational vehicles using sequential movement of body segments
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Vehicle ingress/egress is one of important ergonomic issues in automobile industry. Many researchers and car manufacturers have continued studying with this topic. Some studies were considering with joint angle movements during ingress/egress, and other studies analyzed Electromyography(EMG) signals to examine muscle usage. Among these studies, ingress/egress motion strategy is the most basic study area. It is obvious that joint angles and muscle usages are absolutely dependent on ingress/egress posture. There were other studies dealt with ingress/egress strategies. However, these studies only provide strategies what they observed by experiments. With this strategy, it is hard to classify ingress/egress motion because ingress/egress motions are continuous action. Furthermore, if observed ingress/egress motions are quite different from those strategies, it is impossible to classify a newly observed motion. Hence, in this study, we suggest vehicle driver’s seat ingress/egress motion classification methods using body segments through video observation. Head, torso, buttock, right foot and left foot were used to express ingress/egress motion. Ingress/egress motions were expressed by arranging body segments in order of each segments pass through door plane. It includes waist and neck joint bending. To increase ingress/egress motion, it suggests ingress/egress direction of torso and hand contact position. To apply this method, we conducted the ingress/egress experiments. Forty participants were recruited and three different sized RV (recreational vehicle) were used in this experiments. Each participant was instructed with the purpose of experiment and procedure, and adjusted his/her driver’s seat location. Seat location could be moved horizontally and vertically. After adjusting the seat location, they practiced freely ingress/egress on each vehicle to adapt their motion and to find the most convenient strategy. Then, the main test was conducted, in which each participant ingressed/egressed each vehicle at least 3 times and all ingress/egress motions were recorded by a video camera. For those ingress/egress motion data, the last recorded data were used for Further analysis. Total 120 of ingress motion and 120 egress motion data were analyzed by the developed method. In the ingress motion, [RF – B – T – H – LF] strategy is most frequently used by the participants. In this strategy, people put their right foot on the floor and sit on the seat with his/her buttock. Then, torso and head follows naturally and finally put their left foot in the vehicle. In the egress motion, [LF H – T – B – RF] is most frequently observed. In this strategy, people stick out their left foot and head at the same time, and raise their body from seat. Torso and buttock are sequentially got out of the vehicle. Finally, right foot is getting out of vehicle and end the egress motion. After that, we examined the result in terms of vehicle type. The results show that the ingress/egress strategies were well classified by vehicle’s characteristics. Using this method, classification of ingress/egress motions was easy. With this method, it is easy to make the database of the ingress/egress motion strategy. From the database, it is useful to focus on the most frequently observed strategy when studying the driver’s vehicle ingress/egress motion patterns.
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