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Technical Paper

Tire Models for Vehicle Dynamic Simulation and Accident Reconstruction

Various vehicle dynamic simulation software programs have been developed for use in reconstructing accidents. Typically these are used to analyze and reconstruct preimpact and postimpact vehicle motion. These simulation programs range from proprietary programs to commercially available packages. While the basic theory behind these simulations is Newton's laws of motion, some component modeling techniques differ from one program to another. This is particularly true of the modeling of tire force mechanics. Since tire forces control the vehicle motion predicted by a simulation, the tire mechanics model is a critical feature in simulation use, performance and accuracy. This is particularly true for accident reconstruction applications where vehicle motions can occur over wide ranging kinematic wheel conditions. Therefore a thorough understanding of the nature of tire forces is a necessary aspect of the proper formulation and use of a vehicle dynamics program.
Journal Article

Nonlinear Optimization in Vehicular Crash Reconstruction

This paper presents a reconstruction technique in which nonlinear optimization is used in combination with an impact model to quickly and efficiently find a solution to a given set of parameters and conditions to reconstruct a collision. These parameters and conditions correspond to known or prescribed collision information (generally from the physical evidence) and can be incorporated into the optimized collision reconstruction technique in a variety of ways including as a prescribed value, through the use of a constraint, as part of a quality function, or possibly as a combination of these means. This reconstruction technique provides a proper, effective, and efficient means to incorporate data collected by Event Data Recorders (EDR) into a crash reconstruction. The technique is presented in this paper using the Planar Impact Mechanics (PIM) collision model in combination with the Solver utility in Microsoft Excel.