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Technical Paper

Effects of Innovation in Automated Vehicles on Occupant Compartment Designs, Evaluation, and Safety: A Review of Public Marketing, Literature, and Standards

2019-04-02
2019-01-1223
In recent years, the discussion around the advent of highly automated vehicles has shifted from “if” to “when.” Commercially available vehicles already incorporate automated vehicle (AV) technologies of varying capability, and the eventual transition to fully automated systems, at least within certain predefined Operational Design Domains, is largely considered inevitable. While the full ramifications of this shift and the eventual depreciation of human driver control are still under intense debate, there is broad agreement on one issue -the advent of driverless systems will remove several constraints on the design of vehicle interior spaces, creating the opportunity for innovation. Even at this early stage, ambitious design concepts of purpose specific vehicles - mobile gyms, offices, bedrooms - have been proposed. More grounded designs, such as rotating passenger seats, have also been put forward.
Technical Paper

Passenger Vehicle Response and Damage Characteristics of Front and Rear Structures during Low- to Moderate-Speed Impacts

2019-04-02
2019-01-0415
A significant number of vehicle-to-vehicle collisions involve front-to-rear impacts at low- to moderate-speeds. While a variety of studies have been conducted since the 1990s involving fore-aft collisions, those discussing the response of late model passenger vehicles during progressively more severe impacts are limited. In this study, four inline, front-rear tests were conducted using two midsize sedans of the same make, model, and year. An instrumented Hybrid III 50th percentile-male Anthropomorphic Test Device (ATD) was located in the driver seat of each sedan and was restrained using the standard three-point seat belt system. Instrumentation on the vehicles included tri-axis accelerometers and seat belt load cells. For each test, the centerlines of the vehicles were aligned, and the striking vehicle impacted the stationary target vehicle at closing speeds of 4.6, 7.9, 13.5, and 20.9 mph (7.4, 12.7, 21.7, and 33.6 kph).
Technical Paper

Head and Neck Loading Conditions over a Decade of IIHS Rear Impact Seat Testing

2019-04-02
2019-01-1227
Rear-end impacts are the most common crash scenario in the United States. Although automated vehicle (AV) technologies, such as frontal crash warning (FCW) and automatic emergency braking (AEB), are mitigating and preventing rear-end impacts, the technology is only gradually being introduced and currently has only limited effectiveness. Accordingly, there is a need to evaluate the current state of passive safety technologies, including the performance of seatbacks and head restraints. The objective of this study was to examine trends in head and neck loading during rear impact testing in new vehicle models over the prior decade. Data from 601 simulated rear impact sled tests (model years 2004 to 2018) conducted as a part of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Vehicle Seat/Head Restraint Evaluation Protocol were obtained.
Technical Paper

Motorcycle Rider Kinematics during Low and High Speed Turning Maneuvers

2018-04-03
2018-01-0536
Motorcycle stability during a variety of maneuvers is maintained through both rider steering input and body interactions with the seat, tank, footrests, and handlebars. Exploring how rider-vehicle interactions impact vehicle control is critical to creating a comprehensive understanding of motorcycle handling. The present study aims to understand how experienced motorcycle riders influence motorcycle dynamics by characterizing center of pressure (COP) location, force applied at the seat, rider lean angle and offset relative to the motorcycle, and steering angle for various maneuvers. A course was defined on Exponent’s Test and Engineering Center (TEC) track and skid pad that included sections of straight riding, navigating a banked curve, and sharp turning (low speed U-turns, 90 degree turn after a stop, and obstacle avoidance). The task influenced rider response and, in particular, lateral COP location at the seat.
Technical Paper

Steering Shaft Separation with a Collision Involved Heavy Duty Steering Gear

2018-04-03
2018-01-0524
A crash of a medium duty truck led to a study of the failure mechanism of the truck’s steering system. The truck, after being involved in a multi-vehicle vehicle collision, was found with its steering input shaft disconnected from the steering gear. The question arose whether the steering gear failure was a result of the collision, or causative to the collision. An in-depth investigation was conducted into whether forces on the vehicle due to the collision could cause the steering shaft to separate from the steering gear. Additionally, the performance of the steering gear with the adjuster nut progressively backed off was studied to determine the feedback a driver would receive if the steering gear came progressively apart. From the results of these studies, conclusions with regard to the crash causation were reached.
Technical Paper

Lane-Keeping Behavior and Cognitive Load with Use of Lane Departure Warning

2017-03-28
2017-01-1407
Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems, along with other types of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), are becoming more common in passenger vehicles, with the general aim of improving driver safety through automation of various aspects of the driving task. Drivers have generally reported satisfaction with ADAS with the exception of LDW systems, which are often rated poorly or even deactivated by drivers. One potential contributor to this negative response may be an increase in the cognitive load associated with lane-keeping when LDW is in use. The present study sought to examine the relationship between LDW, lane-keeping behavior, and concurrent cognitive load, as measured by performance on a secondary task. Participants drove a vehicle equipped with LDW in a demarcated lane on a closed-course test track with and without the LDW system in use over multiple sessions.
Technical Paper

Accelerator-to-Brake Pedal Transition Movements during On-Road Stopping in an Older Population

2017-03-28
2017-01-1396
Unintended acceleration events due to pedal misapplication have been shown to occur more frequently in older vs. younger drivers. While such occurrences are well documented, the nature of these movement errors is not well-characterized in common pedal error scenarios: namely, on-road, non-emergency stopping or slowing maneuvers. It is commonly assumed that drivers move in a ballistic or “direct hit” trajectory from the accelerator to the brake pedal. However, recent simulator studies show that drivers do not always move directly between pedals, with older drivers displaying more variable foot trajectories than younger drivers. Our study investigated pedal movement trajectories in older drivers ages 67.9 ± 5.2 years (7 males, 8 females) during on-road driving in response to variable traffic light conditions. Three different sedans and a pick-up truck were utilized.
Journal Article

All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Handling and Control, Analysis of Objective Data

2017-03-28
2017-01-1557
Because the great majority of All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) use a solid rear axle for improved off-road mobility, these vehicles typically transition from understeer to oversteer with increased cornering severity in tests customarily used by automobile manufacturers to measure steady-state vehicle handling properties. An oversteer handling response is contrary to the accepted norm for on-road passenger vehicles and, for this reason, has drawn scrutiny from numerous researchers. In this paper, an evaluation of ATV handling is presented in which 10 participants operated an ATV that was configured to have two different steady-state cornering characteristics. One configuration produced an approximately linear understeer response (labeled US) and the other configuration transitioned from understeer to oversteer (labeled US-OS) with increasing lateral acceleration in constant-radius turn tests conducted on a skid pad.
Technical Paper

The Use of Stationary Object Radar Sensor Data from Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) in Accident Reconstruction

2016-04-05
2016-01-1465
As a result of the development of Event Data Recorders (EDR) and the recent FMVSS regulation 49 CFR 563, today’s automobiles provide a limited subset of electronic data measurements of a vehicle’s state before and during a crash. Prior to this data, the only information available about the vehicle movements before or during a collision had come from physical evidence (e.g. tire marks), witnesses, aftermarket camera systems on vehicles, and ground-based cameras that were monitoring vehicle traffic or used for security surveillance. Today’s vehicles equipped with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) have vehicle-based sensors that measure information about the environment around a vehicle including other vehicles, pedestrians, and fixed wayside objects.
Technical Paper

Steering Maneuver with Furrow-Tripped Rollovers of a Pickup and Passenger Car

2015-04-14
2015-01-1477
Extensive testing has been conducted to evaluate both the dynamic response of vehicle structures and occupant protection systems in rollover collisions though the use of Anthropomorphic Test Devices (ATDs). Rollover test methods that utilize a fixture to initiate the rollover event include the SAE2114 dolly, inverted drop tests, accelerating vehicle body buck on a decelerating sled, ramp-induced rollovers, and Controlled Rollover Impact System (CRIS) Tests. More recently, programmable steering controllers have been used with sedans, vans, pickup trucks, and SUVs to induce a rollover, primarily for studying the vehicle kinematics for accident reconstruction applications. The goal of this study was to create a prototypical rollover crash test for the study of vehicle dynamics and occupant injury risk where the rollover is initiated by a steering input over realistic terrain without the constraints of previously used test methods.
Journal Article

Full-scale Fire Tests of Electric Drive Vehicle Batteries

2015-04-14
2015-01-1383
Fires involving cars, trucks, and other highway vehicles are a common concern for emergency responders. In 2013 alone, there were approximately 188,000 highway vehicle fires. Fire Service personnel are accustomed to responding to conventional vehicle (i.e., internal combustion engine [ICE]) fires, and generally receive training on the hazards associated with those vehicles and their subsystems. However, in light of the recent proliferation of electric drive vehicles (EDVs), a key question for emergency responders is, “what is different with EDVs and what tactical adjustments are required when responding to EDV fires?” The overall goal of this research program was to develop the technical basis for best practices for emergency response procedures for EDV battery incidents, with consideration for suppression methods and agents, personal protective equipment (PPE), and clean-up/overhaul operations.
Technical Paper

Measurements of Non-Injurious Head Accelerations of Young Children

2014-04-01
2014-01-0493
Few studies have investigated pediatric head injury mechanics with subjects below the age of 8 years. This paper presents non-injurious head accelerations during various activities for young children (2 to 7 years old). Eight males and five females aged 2-7 years old were equipped with a head sensor package and head kinematics were measured while performing a series of playground-type activities. The maximum peak resultant accelerations were 29.5 G and 2745 rad/s2. The range of peak accelerations was 2.7 G to 29.5 G. The range of peak angular velocities was 4.2 rad/s to 22.4 rad/s. The range of peak angular accelerations was 174 rad/s2 to 2745 rad/s2. Mean peak resultant values across all participants and activities were 13.8 G (range 2.4 G to 13.8 G), 12.8 rad/s (range 4.0 rad/s to 12.8 rad/s), and 1375 rad/s2 (range 105 rad/s2 to 1375 rad/s2) for linear acceleration, angular velocity, and angular acceleration, respectively.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Ejection Risk and Injury Distribution Using Data from the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS)

2014-04-01
2014-01-0491
Three years of data from the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) were analyzed to identify accidents involving heavy trucks (GVWR >10,000 lbs.). Risk of rollover and ejection was determined as well as belt usage rates. Risk of ejection was also analyzed based on rollover status and belt use. The Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) was used as an injury rating system for the involved vehicle occupants. These data were further analyzed to determine injury distribution based on factors such as crash type, ejection, and restraint system use. The maximum AIS score (MAIS) was analyzed and each body region (head, face, spine, thorax, abdomen, upper extremity, and lower extremity) was considered for an AIS score of three or greater (AIS 3+). The majority of heavy truck occupants in this study were belted (71%), only 2.5% of occupants were completely or partially ejected, and 28% experienced a rollover event.
Technical Paper

A Study of Vehicle Impacts during Dolly Rollover Tests and Comparison to Frontal and Side Impact Tests

2014-04-01
2014-01-0529
Studies of rollover accidents have reported crash attributes such as the number of rolls, rollout distance, initial over-the-ground speed, average roll rate, average over-the-ground deceleration, magnitude of roof deformation, cumulative damage, time and post-crash headroom. While these more general attributes are related to the repeated vehicle-to-ground impacts during a rollover, it has been previously shown [1] that a specific ground impact during a rollover and its consequences can be studied in more detail by using its acceleration time history (crash pulse or impulse) and energy loss. These two quantities are particularly meaningful to use when studying impact mechanics, however, they are limited to circumstances where the data exists, which means real-world on-road crashes cannot be used directly. Acceleration and energy data have been collected and previously published for three Subaru Forester dolly rollover tests, and have been studied in more detail in this writing.
Technical Paper

Thermal Management Modeling for Avoidance of Thermal Runaway Conditions in Lithium-Ion Batteries

2014-04-01
2014-01-0707
The emergence of Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs) as a viable means of transportation has been coincident with the development of lithium-ion battery technology and electronics that have enabled the storage and use of large amounts of energy that were previously only possible with internal combustion engines. However, the safety aspects of using these large energy storage battery packs are a significant challenge to address. For example an unintentional sudden release of energy, such as through a thermal runaway event, is a common concern. Developing thermal management systems for upset conditions in battery packs requires a clear understanding of the heat generation mechanisms and kinetics associated with the failures of Li-ion batteries.
Journal Article

Cone Calorimetry as a Tool for Thermal Hazard Assessment of Li-Ion Cells

2014-04-01
2014-01-1838
The emergence of Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs) as a viable means of transportation has been coincident with the development of lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery technology and electronics. These developments have enabled the storage and use of large amounts of energy that were previously only possible with internal combustion engines. However, the safety aspects of using these large energy storage battery packs are a significant challenge to address. In addition, the rapid advances in electrode and electrolyte materials for Li-Ion batteries have made comparisons and ranking of safety parameters difficult because of the substantial variations in cell designs. In this work, we outline a method for quantifying the thermal safety aspects of Li-ion battery technologies using a Cone Calorimeter.
Journal Article

Quantification of Combustion Hazards of Thermal Runaway Failures in Lithium-Ion Batteries

2014-04-01
2014-01-1857
As lithium-ion cells and systems become larger and more ubiquitous in automotive applications, fire and explosion hazards that are rare or non-existent in smaller systems may exist in these larger systems. One potential hazard can occur when flammable gases emitted from a lithium-ion cell failure accumulate in or around automobiles and are ignited by electrical activity or by the cells themselves and result in a fire or explosion. In some instances, the safety aspects related to fires and explosions protection of electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles using these large energy storage battery packs are a significant challenge to address. This paper describes and characterizes the combustion and explosion hazards that can occur when a lithium ion battery pack fails and goes into thermal runaway in an enclosed space. Metrics such as gas composition, maximum overpressure, rate of pressure rise, and flammability limits are described.
Journal Article

Full-Scale Burn Test of a 2001 Full-Size Pickup Truck

2013-04-08
2013-01-0214
Temperature measurements during a full-scale burn test of a 2001 full-size pickup truck showed that the fire progressed in distinct stages in both the engine and passenger compartments. Although the fire started in the engine compartment and had a relatively long growth period, when a localized area reached about 700°C, a distinct transition occurred where the rate of fire spread increased, leading to full involvement of all engine compartment combustibles. As the engine compartment became fully involved, a hot gas layer then accumulated at the ceiling of the passenger compartment, producing a strong vertical temperature gradient. When the temperature at the ceiling reached about 600°C, another distinct transition occurred where the rate of fire spread increased, leading to full involvement of the passenger compartment. The highest temperature during the test occurred within the engine compartment in an area that had the greatest fuel load, and not the area of origin.
Journal Article

An Objective Analysis of the Effect of Tire Tread Depth on Crash Causation and Wet Road Vehicle Dynamics

2013-04-08
2013-01-0701
This paper explores tire placement with given tread depths on vehicles from two distinct perspectives. The first area explored is an analysis of crash data recently reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In this report, thousands of tire-related crashes were investigated where the tread depth and inflation pressure were logged for each tire and assessments were made as to whether tire condition was a factor in the crash. The analysis of the data shows that in regards to accident causation, it is not statistically significant which axle has the deepest tread. What is significant is that a tread depth at or below 4/32″ anywhere on the vehicle leads to an increased rate of crashes. To understand the physics implied by the NHTSA data, a study was performed on how the placement of tires of various tread depths affects the steering, handling, and braking performance of a modern sport utility vehicle.
Technical Paper

Tractor-Semitrailer Driver and Sleeping Compartment Occupant Responses to Low-Speed Impacts

2012-04-16
2012-01-0566
Low-speed collisions between tractor-semitrailers and passenger vehicles may result in large areas of visible damage to the passenger vehicle, but often produce limited damage to the tractor-semitrailer. Despite this, such accidents may lead to assertions of serious injury to the tractor driver and/or sleeper compartment occupant. Research regarding the impact environment and resulting injury potential of the occupants during these types of impacts is limited. This research investigated driver and sleeper compartment occupant responses to relatively low-speed and low-acceleration impact events. Five crash tests involving impact between a tractor-semitrailer and a passenger car were conducted. The test vehicles were a van semitrailer pulled by a tractor and three identical mid-sized sedans. The occupants of the tractor included a human driver and an un-instrumented Hybrid III 50th-percentile-male anthropomorphic test device (ATD).
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