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HALO™ Rollover Occupant Protection System

Safety Engineering International > HALO™ Rollover Occupant Protection System

HALO ROLLOVER OCCUPANT PROTECTIO SYSTEM

The Beginning

The HALO™ was developed as the first embodiment of more than 20 years of intensive synergistic Australian and United States (US) scientific research by Mr. Donald Friedman from the US Center for Injury Research and Dr. Raphael Grzebieta, a professor previously at Monash University (AUS) and now at The University of New South Wales (AUS). Their focus was defining the most effective and economical means of mitigating deaths and injuries in rollover crashes.

Product Concept & Functionality

A product conceived and formulated from years of research and testing utilizing state of the art rollover testing systems. Ultimately, five different final prototypes were sequentially tested using a comprehensive dynamic test which utilises the innovative Jordan Rollover System (JRS). The HALO™ mitigates injuries and deaths in the event of a rollover by: 1.) maintaining the vehicle’s roll radius characteristic allowing the vehicle body to roll smoothly; 2.) distributing the roof loads across the entire roof surface allowing for smooth and even roof structure ground loading from the near to the far side during the rollover event; and 3.) minimising roof intrusion and roof intrusion speed at the A and B Pillars which keeps the roof up and away from the occupants. All of these features allow vehicles equipped with the HALO™ to perform as safer vehicles than the OEM without changing the interior of the vehicle.
Additionally, the HALO™ has been evaluated, endorsed and approved by Department of Transport and Main Roads in Western Australia and approved in Queensland and by the Engineering Institute, in the US.

Product Architecture & Configuration

The HALO™ is a comprehensive design which consists of an optimised tubular structure mounted on the vehicle roof similar to a roof rack in combination with internal pillar reinforcements that stay within the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) plastic trim to maintain the vehicle OEM interior space and appearance. The HALO™ functions by tying all of the underlying vehicle’s vertical pillars together and reforming the vehicle’s trapezoidal cross-sectional shape while drawing on the internal reinforcement’s added vertical support. Furthermore, the product does not interfere with any internal safety equipment, such as side seat and side curtain air bags and seatbelt pre-tensioners or add additional hard points to the cabin area like the conventional internal roll cages. The HALO™ weighs less than 40 kilograms. This is significantly less than many of the traditional ROPS systems. A number of OHS sectors in both industry and government have now deemed the HALO™ as effective and compatible with the present automotive safety equipment and systems without compromise.

Background

Understanding “Real World” rollover crashes during the development of the HALO™ was critical to SEI in pinpointing the key areas of the vehicle’s roof structure that required improved geometry and reinforcement without interfering with the occupant protection systems in the vehicle. The research included over 500 “Real World” crash investigations and over 300 rollover crash tests performed in the innovative dynamic test rig called the Jordan Rollover System (JRS). Over 100 conference and journal papers, presentations and reports on how to mitigate rollover injuries were published. This research work has been peer reviewed by other leading researchers, government and industry.
Rollovers producing serious to fatal injuries are characterized by substantially greater roof intrusion on one side than the other. Our research identified the geometry of the roof and its strength as the primary and equally significant factors in reducing the roof intrusion and intrusion rate, and head, neck, and chest injuries to restrained occupants.  [In essence, modifying the roof structure to maintain the vehicle’s roll radius allows it to roll like a cylinder instead of like a brick, resulting in constant roof to ground loading.]  Such modifications could be integrated into production vehicle designs after a period of real world functional proof from HALO™ equipped vehicles.
The HALO™ is a scientifically innovative and comprehensive solution for mid-size SUVs and 4WDs vehicles. The HALO™ can also be applied to heavier vehicles used in agriculture and excavation. It was developed, tested, and sold in North America, South America, Australia, and the Middle East region with negotiations underway for sales in other countries and regions such as Africa and Russia. The underpinning innovative concepts on which the HALO™ was developed are outlined in the US Patent #7717492 by Friedman and Grzebieta. Four papers presented in Australia, US, Brazil and Singapore further detail the innovation and testing performed to develop the HALO™ into a commercial ready product.
Part of the basis on which the HALO™ performance specifications were established was an “in-depth” crash reconstruction analyses of typical on-road tripped rollovers investigated in Australia and the US. It was found that in approximately 90% of Australian and United States rollover crashes, the rollover was a lateral rollover resulting in two rolls or less.  In addition, more than 500 rollover crashes were investigated demonstrating that significant injury or fatality occurs most often on the far side of the vehicle, where there was a forward pitch angle of greater than 5 degrees and more than 100 mm of roof crush over the occupant and typically forward of the B-pillar.
When considering these factors, any roof strengthening system must be effective in preventing the front A-pillars from crushing as well as encompass a means of distributing the roof loads incurred in a rollover uniformly across the structure of the underlying vehicle. The HALO™ was developed based on our understanding of how vehicles roll, the load paths in the roof structure during the crash event, and how roofs crush during a rollover.
More recently the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced its upgrade of Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 216 for roof crush resistance and in doing so ended the 30 year-old battle over roof crush as an injury producing phenomenon. Safety Engineering International (SEI) founders were an integral source in the upgrade of the Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 216, submitting thousands of pages of reports, data, testing, analysis and research to the NHTSA docket and then quoted in the issuance of the final rule. We have integrated this knowledge into designing a roof retrofit device to minimize roof crush on production vehicles in rollovers crashes.

Intellectual Property 

Safety Engineering International has received a Patent with the USPTO #7717492 and Intl Patent #S024-1004032A pending, which includes South Africa, for the geometric roof retrofit rollover damage minimization device it has designed and developed. Named HALO™, the structure is a High Attenuation Load Offset device and when attached to a production vehicle roof, reduces the amount of crush and the speed of that same crush when the vehicle experiences a rollover crash to prevent catastrophic and fatal injuries to the occupants. The HALO™ is designed to maximize the vehicle’s own geometry to minimize and evenly distribute the impact forces of a rollover event over the entire vehicle body structure preventing point loading in any one place.

Capabilities

Safety Engineering International provides more than just a rollover protection solution to the industry. As a company, we are able to provide a service to the industry that is unique in that we are able to develop custom solutions tailored to an individual need and/or develop and produce a new vehicle rollover protection device quickly and much faster than our competitors. Although we are able to develop, test, and manufacture in-house we have also established relationships with outside manufacturers within and outside the United States in order to make the product more readily available and support local business within the area where the product is used. As a company, our abilities are comprehensive in that we have experienced individuals in a variety of areas such as road safety, rollover testing, injury mechanisms, injury mitigation, occupant kinematics, restraint design, computer aided analysis, structural and mechanical engineering, CAD, product development, rapid prototyping fabrication techniques, manufacturing, and automotive aftermarket product design. This broad background enables SEI to work to develop solutions quickly by allowing those within the company specifically focused in the area of product design to quickly draw up a concept with the vehicle safety experts and then turn it into a working concept and solution in a matter of a few days. After this stage of the process, a prototype can be quickly produced in house, which then can be passed on for testing, evaluation, and approval by the automobile safety experts. At this point, final engineering drawings and manufacturing specifications can be made up for either manufacturing in-house or outside.

Principals and Advisors

Chief Executive, Principal, and Co-Inventor: Mr. Donald Friedman

Chief Executive, Principal, and Co-Inventor: Mr. Donald Friedman, Mr. Donald Friedman is one of the co-founders of SEI. Mr. Friedman has been in auto safety for over 40 years. A few of his accomplishments are his work on the SideWinder Missile, the Lunar Rover and the Minicars Research Safety Vehicle. He was instrumental in the early work on airbags, including testifying before the U.S Congress in the 70’s to make airbags mandatory and is considered to be the leading expert in the United State on rollovers and roof crush.

President, Principal, and Co-Inventor: Dr. Raphael Grzebieta (Jib-bieta)

Mr. Grzebieta holds the Chair in Road Safety at the NSW Injury Risk Management Research Centre at the University of NSW. Raphael is also the immediate Past President of the Australasian College of Road Safety. He has over 26 years of research and practical experience in crashworthiness and road safety. Research teams he has led and been involved with have carried out crash tests and numerous computer modelling and theoretical studies investigating and mitigating injuries in roll-over and roadside barrier crashes, far & near side impact, and truck over-ride & under-run. In 2004, Raphael was awarded the 2003 Warren Medal by the Institution of Engineers in Australia. Dr. Grzebieta has worked on the retrofit design concept from its infancy.

General Manager: Ms. Susie Bozzini

Ms. Bozzini has over twenty years in business management and marketing experience ranging from retail, to service, to product promotion, and product development. Over her career she has provided quality management of businesses ranging in size from 2 to 25 million in sales and service contracts. She has successfully developed staff members for each business ranging from part-time retail employees to high level product designers to sophisticated forensic engineers, for the various business entities. Ms. Bozzini developed all contractual relationships to procure, promote, and sell the various manufactured products and services. She earned a BS in Business Administration from California State University at Hayward, CA. in 1998. Ms. Bozzini has studied the emerging needs and opportunities in the automotive retrofit markets for the last six years and is one of the developers of the HALO™ concept.

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HALO™ is a safety device and therefore must be installed by a Certified Professional to insure the proper function of the device.

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