Fire safety of today's and tomorrow's vehicles
This thesis considers fire hazards in the existing vehicle fleet and uses failure modes and effects analyses of three generic designs to identify and rank potential fire hazards in the Emerging Fuel Vehicle (EFV) fleet. A statistics based predictive quantitative risk assessment framework and estimated uncertainty analysis is presented to predict risk of EFV fleets. The analysis also determines that the frequency of fire occurrence is the greatest factor that contributes to risk of death in fire. These preliminary results predict 420±14 fire related deaths per year for a fleet composed entirely of gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles, 910±340 for compressed natural gas vehicles, and 1300±570 for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles relative to the statistical record of 350 for traditional fuel vehicles. The results are intended to provide vital fire safety information to the traveling public as well as to emergency response personnel to increase safety when responding to EFV fire hazards.