1986-02-01

Handling Response, Accident Reconstruction, and Animation of Articulated Recreational Vehicles Using Micro and Minicomputers 860016

The articulated recreational vehicle is usually identified with the family car towing a tent, boat or house trailer by means of a particular hitch connection. The handling behavior of this combination varies significantly from that of the family sedan and requires specific consideration. Some of the factors which influence the dynamic response of the articulated recreational vehicle include the load distribution between the trailer and towing vehicle, hitch equipment, braking performance, and geometric and physical parameters. Driver unfamiliarity with the handling characteristics of these vehicles often leads to loss of control due to rollover or unstable oscillation which terminates in jackknifing.
The methodology for the development of a micro or minicomputer operational mathematical model to analyze the dynamic response of articulated recreational vehicles is presented. This model may also be employed to analyze non-articulated sedan or camper truck type vehicles. Also, the model has particular application in the field of accident reconstruction. Several examples which illustrate the behavior problems of various types of recreational vehicles are presented. The results are illustrated through computer generated graphics and scale-model animation.

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