“Multi Vector” Field of View Design Tool 2004-01-0380
A multi vector design tool to accurately predict instrument panel obscuration was developed to insure that critical legal displays in vehicles are not obscured. The concept provides for a computer generated light source shaped to replicate the human eyes. The light source is then projected onto a 3D math based arrangement and the resultant shadows are visible on the instrument panel surface and its displays.
Design studios require criteria for the placement of the instrument cluster gages and displays, various controls, switches, and steering column stalks before an interior theme can be completed. Therefore, instrument panel obscuration and visibility must be determined early in the design process. The obscured areas are a function of the instrument panel surface, steering wheel rim, hub, spokes, and the location of the driver's eyes. This light source method allows engineers and designers the ability to quickly determine obscured areas. For example, when arrangement changes are made to steering wheel location, diameters, rim shape, occupant size and location, instrument cluster displays and their locations, studies are quickly executed and reviewed for compliance.
The traditional methods of determining instrument panel obscuration, utilize common design based drafting processes. The drafting methods are either executed manually and or systematically. Current processes have proven to require more resources and longer lead times than this new novel procedure described in this paper.
Actual design studies were completed for a future small car and a large truck. The small car instrument panel surface, instrument cluster, and steering wheel developed by a design studio were evaluated using this new process. SAE J1050a (6) was referenced as the recommended procedure. It was found that the headlamp switch was located in a completely obscured region. Using the “Multi Vector” method, the design studio was able to relocate the switch into an unobscured area to satisfy the obscuration requirements. The large truck instrument cluster was found obscured along the top portion of the speedometer and tachometer when a small diameter steering wheel was tested. A 10 mm larger diameter steering wheel was quickly “Multi Vector” tested and showed compliance with this new diameter.