No crumple zones? Increased risk??

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions No crumple zones? Increased risk??

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions No crumple zones? Increased risk??

  • No crumple zones? Increased risk??

  • Paul Schultz

    Member
    October 5, 2021 at 6:41 pm

    So the Aptera shell is very strong and can withstand a great deal. But, modern safety design is largely dependent on crumple zones to absorb impact while leaving the cab protected. Won’t the rigidity of the Aptera shell lead to worsened risk for transmission of crash forces to the passengers? This is what happened with the heavy rigid vehicles from the 1940-to-1960s. Just wanted to make sure that the driver and passenger don’t have their brains turned to mush by a full-force impact.

  • John Malcom

    Member
    October 5, 2021 at 7:21 pm

    Thank you for expressing your concern. We all should be concerned about the safety of the vehicles we drive

    Although Aptera is classified as an autocycle/motor cycle, Aptera is engineered for and will test against full government automobile safety standards to include crash testing. I believe, because of their meticulous engineering, they will outperform many ICE autos in this critical area. I would not be surprised to see five stars.

    Additionally, Aptera has the traditional crumple zone design from the firewall forward.

    • Paul Schultz

      Member
      October 7, 2021 at 5:21 pm

      I hadn’t seen any information that the front end, forward of the firewall, was designed any differently than the remainder of the shell. Do you have the source of this info? If it is made of the same rigid shell that they have been touting that provides amazing strength (that can withstand a sledge hammer) then the entire vehicle shell, including the portion forward of the firewall would be rigid and not provide the modern crumple zone safety feature of a typical modern automobile. I’d love to see this info if you can point me in the right direction. Thanks.

      Paul

      • Philip Raymond

        Member
        October 9, 2021 at 11:36 pm

        I emailed Aptera to add the word “major” to this FAQ title. I think it will help answer questions like yours.

    • Llewellyn Evans

      Member
      October 24, 2021 at 4:56 am

      The angled firewall will help push solid obstacles under the car so you don’t stop so suddenly. More ricochet, less impact.

  • my_discord_number_is_0328 bloody stupid

    Member
    October 5, 2021 at 7:30 pm

    racing helmet and harness are more efficient, but average player doesnt want to deal with that. i would, including b/c its like how i used to have fun pretending to be fighter pilot or tonystark https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-q83aUAcfQU (3:49 onward) driving my pedal bike. only issue to solving the co2 buildup in helmet, although helmet doesnt have to be as omni as usual with polycarbonate windows (which is not officially in aptera) and the stiff chassis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Nh_vxpycEA

    • Paul Schultz

      Member
      October 7, 2021 at 5:23 pm

      I am not clear on how this comment applies to my crumple zone question. Please elaborate.

      Paul

      • my_discord_number_is_0328 bloody stupid

        Member
        October 7, 2021 at 7:35 pm

        i went into some fun stuff (also marketing) but the first sentence was it. im pointing it out to guide toward maybe coming up with a blend of principles of racing harness approach and airbag approach. pointed out people probably dont want to use normal racing harness b/c its more work vs normal seatbelt.

  • Philip Raymond

    Member
    October 7, 2021 at 7:29 pm

    This is from the Aptera FAQ under the title “what are the ramifications of minor body damage”. It also speaks to major body damage and structural safety.

    The front and rear sections are designed to be replaceable if damaged. Both are made of impact-resistant plastic, as are the wheel covers. They are also both foam filled to help in a higher speed incident. The front nose cone along with our subframe, in particular, are designed to crumple against our angled firewall and extend an impact sequence to the benefit of our passenger safety cell.

    • Paul Schultz

      Member
      October 7, 2021 at 8:02 pm

      Excellent. I had missed that info. Thanks for sharing.

      Paul

  • Davis Edwards

    Member
    October 8, 2021 at 11:05 am

    Hi Paul, I agree that I’ve heard a lot about the shell strength but not crash testing. I was surprised to learn that enclosed 3-wheeled autocycles do not require a helmet. I understand that the vehicle will have driver and passenger airbags along with side airbags. There is a fan-made (or maybe ambassador) video on youtube showing a crash simulation, but I have not seen these images elsewhere. They look like official renderings.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SbjCuhC2Sw

  • David Maddon

    Member
    October 9, 2021 at 9:52 pm

    They have state both the front and rear have crumple zones and the front wheels also act as a crumple zone. This was in one of their video Q&A sessions. The front is metal frame with a composite cover.

  • John Malcom

    Member
    October 11, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    Please watch the new J Leno YouTube video. You will see the “Front” open. Two things, there is a small “Frunk” and the metal struts constituting the crumple zone bolted to the firewall. Apparently 10 Betas will be built some used for crash testing.

  • John McLean

    Member
    October 23, 2021 at 10:43 am

    I understand the shell is strong to protect the occupants in a major collision and in such a collision the car may likely be totaled. That is fine.

    Most collisions are more minor. My question is not about crumple zones. It is, are there body shops in Southern California that already have the tools and know-how to repair minor damage to the Aptera’s shell from a fender bender where the damage is not limited to the plastic nose, tail, and front fenders? Are there any auto body shops in the country that can do this work now?

    • Curtis Cibinel

      Member
      October 23, 2021 at 11:17 am

      They have talked about this in Q&A sessions. It is essentially more like repairing a boat.

      Also unlike sheet metal the body of the aptera ha a tendancy to bounce back. In a 5mph fender bender it is plausible the damage would be limited to the vinyl wrap (if that) as the aptera is soo much ligher and the body is relatively flexible that it would just elastically handle the impact. In a demo with the original ~2009 Aptera (structurally similar) they had people hitting it with a sledge hammer with no damage – sound familiar 😉

  • John McLean

    Member
    October 23, 2021 at 5:54 pm

    Once they have Betas that have been crash tested it would give confidence to reservation holders to have a body shop guy show how a more minor bit of damage to the cell would be repaired with before and after photos or a video of the process. We can give Jay Leno a sledgehammer and we can show crash test videos but I want to know that a body shop could could be found to repair the impact of a simple fender bender.

    I like “right to repair” and feel I can find a local mechanic to replace failed parts using manufacturer’s instruction but I’m concerned I’ll have a hard time finding a boat repair place to even look at my futuristic car.

    Just saying…an old body shop owner with paint on his hands explaining how he repaired the shell would be a good idea.

    • BRUCE MENGLER

      Member
      October 23, 2021 at 7:35 pm

      The Aptera will have three major structures; the front, the monocoque passenger compartment, & the tail end. The front & the tail are sacrificial crumple zones. I recall that when the monocoque suffers a fracture, it should be scrapped just like a motorcycle helmet. After a crash, when the monocoque remains intact, then no repair is needed or required. I’m just hoping that me & my Aptera never becomes a ping-pong ball that bounces off any other object.

  • Pistonboy

    Member
    October 23, 2021 at 9:49 pm

    Here are two videos showing different views of the front. The design may have been changed and the two views may be of different designs.

    The first is of the Noir in the Aptera shop at time 4:29. The second is of the Sol from the Jay Leno video at time 13:43.

    The first shows two large lateral braces joined to the main body by five large bolts. Something like this could easily be designed to crumple on impact. I wonder if they are in the second video.

    Click on the green video links below, not the video. You will be taken to the correct location.

    https://youtu.be/HNjUdTJjiNk?t=269

    https://youtu.be/TsYyJJFYRvc?t=823

    • kerbe2705

      Member
      October 23, 2021 at 9:55 pm

      The three alpha prototypes are structurally identical – so if it’s in Noir, it’s also in Luna.

  • George Hughes

    Member
    October 23, 2021 at 11:11 pm

    Testing has determined that the key to survivability is a very strong passenger cabin that allows the body to impact things like air bags and ‘air’ instead of intruding sheet metal. This concept is best demonstrated in crash tests of another ultra-small two seat car; the Smart fortwo … which for all the folks who say two-seaters aren’t a large market should note that more than a million of these ‘economy cars’ have sold.

    Anyway, here is an inspiring video containing some rather dramatic crash sequences at speed.

    https://youtu.be/mnI-LiKCtuE?

    In terms applicability for the Aptera, it has the strong passenger – probably stronger than the Smart – and a decidedly larger crumple zone. The combination of composite monocoque shell is more like that of a formula 1 race car, a breed of racer that hasn’t recorded a driver death in a crash in over 30 years despite significantly higher speeds than those demonstrated in the above videos. Certainly, the use of helmets and advanced driver restraints are contributing factors but ‘formula’ for survival is the same – a strong shell and vehicle extremities designed to absorb energy.

    • John Trotter

      Member
      October 24, 2021 at 12:56 pm

      George. Great find for a visual for crashing a lightweight car. Of course, despite the relatively intact survival of the mini “core” (and I’d bet the Aptera monocoque would do at least as well), the narrator correctly points out that human internals can not survive the deceleration from 70 to 0 mph in a second or so. To give us drivers the best chance, I hope the Aptera suite of air bags is complete (front, side, legs). Survive a wall at 70mph? Probably not, but at least as good as other cars on the road for less energetic encounters.

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