Reliable CPD Dummies for Safe Child Presence Testing

Every year, children are left unattended in parked cars and lose their lives to heat stroke. Child Presence Detection (CPD) systems are designed to prevent just that. CPD systems use various sensors to detect the presence of a child in the vehicle and inform and warn the driver if a child is left in the vehicle.

The Euro NCAP also acknowledged that issue by adding a CPD rating into their assessment protocols from 2023 on. The rating will be enrolled in two steps: until 2025 the protocol can be fulfilled with indirect sensing like door open logic or pressure-based systems. Thereafter the lack of direct sensing of respiration rate, movement or motion will be mandatory to achieve all points. 

Various sensor systems can be used for direct sensing occupant detection. Radar, ultrasonic, camera, lidar as well as infrared are feasible options to detect presence movement and respiration of children in cabin. For operational testing, we are unable to use real people to evaluate such systems. On the one hand, the requirements of standardization make the use of dummies unavoidable; in addition, the safety-relevant area of application of such systems in vehicles is children between the ages of 0 and 6.

Efficient, reliable, and reproducible

The vehicle safety experts from MESSRING developed a CPD dummy, which replicates a newborn in shape and size, enables reliable and standardized verification of presence, including respiratory movement, in vehicles. The dummy meets the breathing rate of 30 bpm required by the Euro NCAP protocol and has a realistic amplitude of movement in the chest and abdomen. The breathing rate as well as the ratio of chest and abdominal breathing can be controlled and adjusted by a well-engineered pneumatic system. The battery-powered compressor can be easily stored in the trunk and connected to the dummy. The child dummy was deliberately manufactured without electric drives to prevent sensor irritation.

The CPD dummy family, with 1-year old, 3-year old and 6-year old which are currently developed in close cooperation with the industry will use the same pneumatic system and allow an easy switch between the dummies. All dummies are tailored to the protocol and will allow OEMs to evaluate their systems and gain the required data to meet the assessment. Naturally the reproducibility for testing is crucial therefore MESSRING offers a complementary calibration tool which will be capable to calibrate all CPD dummies.