Applied human factors engineering in advanced vehicle design for elder and handicapped people
Wong, Seng Fat
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Barrier-free facilities are necessary for the sustainable development of the country. This paper studied the needs of the elder and the handicapped people in the barrier-free facilities. It found that the elder and handicapped people such as wheelchair users were hard to enter and leave the vehicle because of posture problems. Although barrier-free design was considered in some models of vehicle, however, it is not generally used. The feasible design of portable vehicle seat was studied through the survey and anthropometry measurement. The human factors engineering analysis was applied in the prototype design of movable ergonomic seat. The posture problems were considered when the elder or wheelchair users needed to enter or leave the vehicle. This advanced design can provide a car chair that is safer, more comfortable, and more convenience to meet the needs of elder and wheelchair users. The prototype of movable ergonomic seat was tested. This prototype can support the ingress process and egress process. It can move the seat up, and then rotate 90 degree anticlockwise. When the seat is pushed close to the door, the elder and wheelchair users can easily leave the vehicle. If the elder and wheelchair people needs to enter the vehicle, the movable seat will move up, rotate 90 degree anticlockwise, and move close the door first. The user can easily and comfortably sit on the seat. The movable seat can move back, and then rotate 90 degree clockwise. The final step is to move down. Therefore, the elder and wheelchair users do not need to rise up their hands, shoulders and legs, and they can easily enter and leave the vehicle. Since this design is portable, so it will be suitable to apply in different models of vehicle. Thus, more elder and wheelchair users can be benefited by this ergonomic design.
Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on Flexible Automation & Intelligent Manufacturing, held May 20-23, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas, and organized by the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Lean Systems, University of Texas at San AntonioIncludes bibliographical references