Optimizing truck cab layout for driver accommodation

One important source of variability in the performance and success of products designed for use by people is the people themselves. In many cases, the acceptability of the design is affected more by the variability in the human users than by the variability attributable to the hardware from which the product is constructed. Designing for human variability as an inherent part of the product optimization process can improve the overall performance of the product. This paper presents a new approach to artifact design that applies population sampling and stochastic posture prediction in an optimization environment to achieve optimal designs that are robust to variability among users, including differences in age, physical size, strength, and cognitive capability. A case study involving the layout of the interior of a heavy truck cab is presented, focusing on simultaneous placement of the seat and steering wheel adjustment ranges. Tradeoffs between adjustability (an indicator of cost), driver accommodation, and safety are explored under this paradigm.