Approximately half of the road deaths worldwide are caused by vulnerable road users (VRU) such as pedestrians or cyclists. VRUs are always the weaker collision partner in road traffic. The detection of VRUs by means of sensor technology is therefore important in order to provide the driver with optimum support and thus increase the safety of all road users. Particularly with regard to automated driving, robust detection is essential in any traffic situation. Within the development of systems that recognise pedestrians and cyclists, a large number of different tests are necessary before a system can be tested as a whole. The large number of accident scenarios with a high risk of injury or fatal outcome must be reduced to a few but decisive test arrangements. For this purpose, dummies are to be used which depict a pedestrian as realistically as possible.
The development of such a dummy is a research priority of the technology field "Passive Safety". Several projects are being carried out in cooperation with industrial partners on dummy pedestrians. The current research topic is on the one hand to improve the gait behaviour of an adult dummy and on the other hand to transfer the knowledge already gained to a new generation of dummy pedestrians representing children and young people. The challenge lies in the lifelike reproduction of the movement sequences of adults and children, the design of the assemblies and the supporting skeletons with high stiffness. In addition, the new generation of dummies will be optimised in terms of test procedures, e.g. radar signatures similar to real people. This concerns in particular the sensor suitability, but also the robustness of the dummy.