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Technical Paper

Field Testing and Computer Simulation Analysis of Ground Vehicle Dynamic Stability

This paper considers ground vehicle lateral/directional stability which is of primary concern in traffic safety. Lateral/directional dynamics involve yawing, rolling and lateral acceleration motions, and stability concerns include spinout and rollover. Lateral/directional dynamics are dominated by tire force response which depends on horizontal slip, camber angle and normal load. Vehicle limit maneuvering conditions can lead to tire force responses that result in vehicle spinout and rollover. This paper describes accident analysis, vehicle testing and computer simulation analysis designed to give insight into basic vehicle design variables that contribute to stability problems. Field test procedures and results for three vehicles are described. The field test results are used to validate a simulation model which is then analyzed under severe maneuvering conditions to shed light on dynamic stability issues.
Technical Paper

A Low Cost PC Based Driving Simulator for Prototyping and Hardware-In-The-Loop Applications

This paper describes a low cost, PC based driving simulation that includes a complete vehicle dynamics model (VDM), photo realistic visual display, torque feedback for steering feel and realistic sound generation. The VDM runs in real-time on Intel based PCs. The model, referred to as VDANL (Vehicle Dynamics Analysis, Non-Linear) has been developed and validated for a range of vehicles over the last decade and has been previously used for computer simulation analysis. The model's lateral and longitudinal dynamics have 17 degrees of freedom for a single unit vehicle and 33 degrees of freedom for an articulated vehicle. The model also includes a complete drive train including engine, transmission and front and rear drive differentials, and complete, power assisted braking and steering systems. A comprehensive tire model (STIREMOD) generates lateral and longitudinal forces and aligning torque based on normal load, camber angle and horizontal (lateral and longitudinal) slip.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Adverse Visibility on Driver Steering Performance in an Automobile Simulator

The driver's ability to control the lateral position of an automobile is dependent on his perception of the command path (roadway) to be followed. This perception is affected by both the configuration of road markings and other features, and the visibility of these elements. As visibility decreases, the driver's preview of the commanded path is reduced. Theory indicates that driver performance should degrade with reduced preview and configurational parameters which characterize the intermittent nature of delineation (e.g., dashed lines). This paper describes a simulation experiment in which driver behavior and driver/vehicle system performance were measured over a range of visibility and configuration parameter variations. Driver dynamic response and noise (remnant) were reliably affected by variations in visibility and configuration. These effects were also reflected in system performance measures such as lane deviations.
Technical Paper

A Downhill Grade Severity Rating System

A Grade Severity Rating System (GSRS) was developed as a means for reducing the incidence and severity of truck accidents on downgrades. The ultimate result is a roadside sign at the top of each hill. The sign is tailored to the individual hill and gives a recommended maximum speed (to be held constant for the entire grade descent) for each of several truck weight ranges. This concept represents a major step forward in terms of grade descent safety because it tells the driver what to do directly, rather than giving him information which still requires evaluation under different loading conditions.
Technical Paper

The Use of In-Vehicle Detectors to Reduce Impaired Driving Trips

For almost twenty years, researchers have attempted to develop an in-vehicle system which would prevent an impaired driver from operating his or her motor vehicle. These systems have ranged from breath testers to psychomotor tests, and have prevented operation of the vehicle by such methods as preventing the vehicle from starting or alerting drivers, and the police through alarm systems. This paper discusses the background leading to an in-vehicle system which was built and tested. We also discuss the system and its components, and present the results of two tests involving convicted drunk drivers. While the primary purpose of this project was to determine the feasibility of this type of system, the results of the two tests show promise for the reduction of impaired driving trips.
Technical Paper

Test Methods and Computer Modeling for the Analysis of Ground Vehicle Handling

This paper presents test methods and modeling procedures for identifying the directional handling characteristics of vehicles over the full maneuvering range from straight running to limit cornering and/or braking. The test procedures are designed to validate steady-state and dynamic response performance. The model parameters are derived from simple static tests of vehicle properties and tire parameters identified from tire machine tests. Current steady-state field test procedures validate the model response under cornering only conditions. Model analysis then extrapolates vehicle response under combined cornering and braking conditions. Some discussion is devoted to potential braking in a turn transient testing for more complete model validation.
Technical Paper

Tire Modeling Requirements for Vehicle Dynamics Simulation

The physical forces applied to vehicle inertial dynamics derive primarily from the tires. These forces have a profound effect on handling. Tire force modeling therefore provides a critical foundation for overall vehicle dynamics simulation. This paper will describe the role tire characteristics play in handling, and will discuss modeling requirements for appropriately simulating these effects. Tire input and output variables will be considered in terms of their relationship to vehicle handling. General computational requirements will be discussed. An example tire model will be described that allows for efficient computational procedures and provides responses over the full range of vehicle maneuvering conditions.
Technical Paper

Low Cost Driving Simulation for Research, Training and Screening Applications

Interactive driving simulation is attractive for a variety of applications, including screening, training and licensing, due to considerations of safety, control and repeatability. However, widespread dissemination of these applications will require modest cost simulator systems. Low cost simulation is possible given the application of PC level technology, which is capable of providing reasonable fidelity in visual, auditory and control feel cuing. This paper describes a PC based simulation with high fidelity vehicle dynamics, which provides an easily programmable visual data base and performance measurement system, and good fidelity auditory and steering torque feel cuing. This simulation has been used in a variety of applications including screening truck drivers for the effects of fatigue, research on real time monitoring for driver drowsiness and measurement of the interference effect of in-vehicle IVHS tasks on driving performance.
Technical Paper

Driver/Vehicle Modeling and Simulation

This paper describes the driver/vehicle modeling aspects of a computer simulation that can respond to highway engineering descriptions of roadways. The driver model interacts with a complete vehicle dynamics model that has been described previously. The roadway path is described in terms of horizontal and vertical curvature and cross slopes of lanes, shoulders, side slopes and ditches. Terrain queries are made by the vehicle dynamics to locate tires on the roadway cross-section, and to define vehicle path and road curvature at some distance down the road. The driver model controls steering to maintain lateral lane position. Speed is maintained at a speed limit on tangents, and decreased as needed to maintain safe lateral acceleration. Because the bandwidth of longitudinal (speed) control is much lower than lateral/directional (steering) control, the driver model looks further ahead for speed control than for steering.
Technical Paper

Vehicle Stability Considerations with Automatic and Four Wheel Steering Systems

Automatic and four wheel steering control laws are often developed from the performance point of view to optimize rapid response. Under linear tire operating conditions (i.e., maneuvering at less than .5g's) both performance and safety conditions can be simultaneously met. Under severe operating conditions, such as might be encountered during crash avoidance maneuvering, tire characteristics can change dramatically and induce directional dynamic instability and spinout. The challenge in automatic and four wheel steering system design is to achieve a compromise between performance and safety. This paper will describe analyses carried out with a validated vehicle dynamics computer simulation that shed some light on the vehicle and control characteristics that influence tradeoffs between performance and safety. The computer simulation has been validated against field test data from twelve vehicles including passenger cars, vans, pickup trucks and utility vehicles.
Technical Paper

Stability and Performance Analysis of Automobile Driver Steering Control

This paper reviews and expands previously published driver steering control models. The driver model is structured to control vehicle heading angle and lane position. Field test data are used to validate model structure. The closed-loop stability of the driver/vehicle system is analyzed using a two degree of freedom vehicle dynamics approximation. This analysis is used to develop constraints among the various driver model parameters and their dependence on vehicle characteristics. Driver/vehicle model approximations are also used to explore the effects of driver behavior on steering performance.
Technical Paper

Physiological and Response Measurements in Driving Tasks

Driver response and performance can be quantified by observing the stimulus-response environment. Yet the driver's inherent adaptability allows him to have seemingly adequate performance in potentially hazardous driving situations even though he may be operating near the acceptable safety limits. Physiological measures of the driver's internal state can provide further quantification of his performance level and can give a measure of his workload or safety performance margin. Measures of driver physiological and control responses have been made under gust disturbance conditions with the subject's car operating at various speeds. The experimental techniques and data are described, and correlations between the situational parameters and driver stress and control response are shown.