In Europe, child restraint systems are evaluated for frontal and rear impact, by testing the restraint systems to the ECE Regulation 44. The test procedures in the regulation use a range of child crash test dummies, developed in the 1970s. Since the early 1980s, ECE R44 has undergone three major revisions. The fourth may soon be proposed which reflects the most recent research, such as ISOFix attached restraint systems.
This project focused on the evaluation of the ‘Q series’ of dummies, in particular the Q3, with the aim of determining whether it could be used satisfactorily to assess advanced child restraints under frontal and side impacts. A comparative performance assessment with the P3(older series) and Hybrid III 3 year old was also performed in order to highlight the improvements on the new dummy and also identify any limitations there may be with the Q3 that may limit its range of application for crash testing both in regulatory use for ECE R44 (including future revisions) and for use in EuroNCAP.
The main finding from the project was that while the Q3 dummy is a significant step forwards in the development of child dummies, it cannot currently be recommended for use in regulatory or consumer test procedures. However, it is anticipated that when the manufacturers of the Q3 have addressed issues identified by the project of sensitivity, restraint quality and performance, comparison of ECE R44 tests with a Q3, P3 and Hybrid III year old, side impact and airbag testing, it may be possible to recommend its use.

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