Design Process and Technology Implementation for Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This thesis follows the design process of a safety restraint for a wheelchair occupant travelling in a passenger vehicle. The introduction of design processes and technologies that are new to the GM Coachwork they were established into the company is also documented. Seven design concepts were created for the wheelchair occupant safety system. These underwent varying levels of development, from 3D CAD models to physical mock-ups and included a number of FEA studies. These concepts were then evaluated against each other and a concept chosen to take forward for further development and physical testing. 3D CAD technology was introduced to GM Coachwork by demonstrating its capabilities by a number of case studies. These showed where and how the technology could be used specifically for GM Coachworks requirements. The wheelchair occupant safety restraint project followed closely the development of the design process. A Products Design Specification was introduced and used with this project, 3D CAD and FEA was an integral part to the products development and evaluation techniques such as matrix analysis was used at various places within the design process. By the end of the project a final product had been finalised, physical testing had been completed and the product presented to the staff within GM Coachwork. The design process had been tested and some recommendations and changes suggested and put in place to better suit GM Coachworks requirements.
MPhil in Engineering