Course Syllabus

TME202 Vehicle and Traffic Safety / Fordons och trafiksäkerhet
Course Plan
2020/21 (LP 2)

TME202 Vehicle and Traffic Safety is a course offered from the Mechanics and Marine Sciences Department during the second quarter of the first year of the Master Programme for Automotive Engineering (MPAUT). The course is 7.5 credits. The possible grades are 5, 4, 3, not passed. The course is given in English and is mandatory for the completion of the MPAUT Master’s Degree.


The objective of this course is to provide the student with a basic understanding of the role of passive and active safety (including automated driving) in the context of traffic safety. After this course, the student will have knowledge that can be applied in an automotive engineering career. The student will have: an overview of the literature in the field of active and passive safety, analyzed and simulated components of passive and active safety systems, and gained fundamental knowledge of designing active and passive systems.

Course specific prerequisites

BSc in Engineering, i.e. Mathematics, Physics, as well as at least one course in Programming (6 credits)

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to):

  • Describe various means to reduce traffic related fatalities and injuries
  • Discuss the effect of different car structure design and crash configurations on in-crash load paths in the vehicle and in the occupants
  • Explain means to avoid incompatibility between different road vehicles and road furniture
  • Describe how car restraints and car structure can reduce injury risk
  • Relate the biomechanics of the human body to crash safety
  • Describe the basics of the explicit finite element method and give examples of how simulations can be used to assess crash safety
  • Describe the process of performing a finite element simulation of a crash structure
  • Compare simulations to experimental data and discuss the similarities and discrepancies
  • List the most important sensor principles under consideration for automotive safety applications and to explain their basic technological advantages and limitations
  • Motivate the scope of active safety in the context of traffic safety
  • Describe the general architecture of state-of-art active safety systems
  • Provide examples of active safety systems on the market and describe their operation and implementation
  • Explain what cooperative systems are and how they can be used to extend the functionalities of state-of-art active safety systems
  • Discuss the importance of human factors in the design of active safety systems and automated vehicles
  • Illustrate the tools currently available for evaluating active safety system
  • Apply data visualization techniques on the available data from different perspectives
  • Design and apply basic data pre-processing routines/techniques for naturalistic driving data sets
  • Understand and reflect on data characteristics/limitations and uncertainty in accident scenario reconstruction for EDR (event data recorders)


  • Accidentology and epidemiology
  • Crashworthiness
  • Compatibility
  • Future vehicle designs
  • Restraint designs
  • Testing
  • Crash test dummy design
  • Injury assessments
  • Infrastructure design
  • Systems for Active Safety
  • Sensors for Integrated Safety
  • Cooperative systems
  • Human factors
  • Active safety evaluation
  • Crash analysis and crash data
  • Signal processing and data visualization
  • Analysis of crashes and near-crashes from field data


- Lectures

- Workshops
- Assignments: “Labs” and exercises


Handouts of lecture notes as provided on the course homepage in CANVAS.


Required and supplementary/optional reading is offered on the CANVASs course page. The following ebooks are available:

  • Trauma Biomechanics:An introduction to Injury Biomechanics, Schmitt, K-W, Niederer, P., Cronin, D., Muser, M., Walz, F., Springer, 2014


Note that no literature purchases will be needed to complete the course.



  • Examination Passive Safety (Part C; 2 of the 7.5 points total)
  • Examination Active Safety (Part B; 2 of the 7.5 points total))
  • Each student must actively participate in the assignments (labs and exercises). The course consists of two lab assignments: The Passive Safety Laboratory & Simulation Assignment (Part A: 2 of the 7.5 points total) and the Active Safety Lab Assignment (Part D: 1.5 of the 7.5 points total), and two mandatory exercises (Pass/Fail; pass on both needed to complete the course and get a course grade). Both mandatory exercises are in the Active Safety part of the course, namely: 1) Naturalistic Driving Data, and 2) Event Data Recorders. In addition, there are two exercises/demos that are not mandatory, but recommended: 3) Signal Processing Passive Safety, 4) Signal Processing Active Safety. For the Passive Safety part, each Lab group will consist of two (possibly 3) students. The groups will be randomly assigned by the teachers. For the Active Safety assignment, the group size will be 3 students per group. For the two mandatory Active Safety exercises, the group size will be 2 students per group. It will be the same groups for both of these exercises. Both the Active Safety Assignment groups and the Mandatory Exercise groups are self-assign. That is, you are to group yourselves. The group sign-up for the active safety course part (assignment and exercises) will open a week before the Active Safety part starts.
  • In summary: Each student will be randomly assigned to the passive safety Assignment Group (2-3 students), and you are to self-assign for the two groups Active Safety assignment, and Active Safety exercises. See People in CANVAS for the groups. All exercises and assignments will be checked for plagiarism. A pass/approval on the two assignments and the two mandatory exercises is needed for the completion of the course.

The final grade is based on the average of the normalized examination scores (Part B and Part C). The examination is what is used for the course grade. The overall exam percentage is calculated as:

100*(Your_Points_PS/Max_Points_PS +Your_Points_AS/Max_Points_AS)/2.

If the overall exam percentage is 40% or above, the student has passed the exam.

All group work (assignments: labs and exercises) are pass/fail.

The final grade is then:

  • fail: overall exam percentage <40%
  • 3: 40 <= overall exam percentage < 60%
  • 4: 60 <= overall exam percentage < 80%
  • 5: 80 <= overall exam percentage

The two exams will both be on-line Zoom-based exams. During the exam, you may use any information or tools available to you, but you may not interact with others or have others do any part of the exam (that would directly be classified as plagiarism and you would be reported accordingly).

Time and place for the examination will be posted on the student portal (make sure to choose 2020/2021) and the exam-date page (search for TME202).

Teaching Team




Teaching/lab/assignment/exercise assistants:

  • Xiaomi Yang                                                                                                                     031 772 6901    
  • Alexander Rasch                                                                                        031-772 6465   
  • Alexandros Leledakis (Passive Safety project)                                 
  • Jason Fice (Passive Safety project)                                                           031 772 6461                            

Changes from last year

  • All lectures will be given on-line only
  • Exercises and lab-sessions (support) will all be given on-line, while for some there will be rooms booked for students to work on campus (for those who want to – all can also be done remotely).
  • The exams will be on-line (via CANVAS and with Zoom)
  • Updates/refinement of lecture content and reading material.
  • Some new teaching assistants (assignments and exercises)
  • The lecture on crash databases and epidemiology (3 hours) have been moved to later in the course (just before active safety start). Note that the content of that lecture and exercises may come on either (or both) the passive and active safety exams.
  • Finite Element simulations will be accessible both from Chalmers computer lab (in person or remote login) or with a limited student license accessible from your private computer.


The course is divided into one passive safety part (Part C) and one active safety part (Part B). Each part with has its own written (on-line) exam and responsible teacher (see above).

Eight hours a week are allocated for lectures and assignments/exercises for course:

  • 8:00-11:45 on Mondays
  • 10:00-12:00 on Wednesdays (not all weeks, see schedule) for computer and assignment support
  • 13:15-17:00 on Wednesdays

A complete schedule with the title of the lectures and the name of the lecturers is continuously updated on this course CANVAS page. All lectures and exercises can be attended/performed remotely. Specifically, all lectures will only be held remotely, while for exercises and assignment there will sometimes be computer rooms booked for those that wants to sit at Chalmers premises to do those (but it is also possible to do them remotely – see instructions in CANVAS). The room for exercises and assignments will be posted on TimeEdit (but note that the teachers will not be in the room – all support is remote).

The course schedule is reported on the course’s CANVAS page.

Finally, make sure you comply with the rules for ethics and plagiarism. We strictly enforce Chalmers rules (in short: never copy other students work (e.g., code, text or images), never copy text or images from other documents (electronical or physical) without proper referencing – it is not a justification to say that you did not know about the rules).


Course Summary:

Date Details Due