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Technical Paper

Braking and Swerving Capabilities of Three-Wheeled Motorcycles

This paper reports testing and analysis of the braking and swerving capabilities of on-road, three-wheeled motorcycles. A three-wheeled vehicle has handling and stability characteristics that differ both from two-wheeled motorcycles and from four-wheeled vehicles. The data reported in this paper will enable accident reconstructionists to consider these different characteristics when analyzing a three-wheeled motorcycle operator’s ability to brake or swerve to avoid a crash. The testing in this study utilized two riders operating two Harley-Davidson Tri-Glide motorcycles with two wheels in the rear and one in the front. Testing was also conducted with ballast to explore the influence of passenger or cargo weight. Numerous studies have documented the braking capabilities of two-wheeled motorcycles with riders of varying skill levels and with a range of braking systems.
Technical Paper

An Optimization of Small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS) Image Based Scanning Techniques for Mapping Accident Sites

Small unmanned aerial systems have gained prominence in their use as tools for mapping the 3-dimensional characteristics of accident sites. Typically, the process of mapping an accident site involves taking a series of overlapping, high resolution photographs of the site, and using photogrammetric software to create a point cloud or mesh of the site. This process, known as image-based scanning, is explored and analyzed in this paper. A mock accident site was created that included a stopped vehicle, a bicycle, and a ladder. These objects represent items commonly found at accident sites. The accident site was then documented with several different unmanned aerial vehicles at differing altitudes, with differing flight patterns, and with different flight control software. The photographs taken with the unmanned aerial vehicles were then processed with photogrammetry software using different methods to scale and align the point clouds.
Technical Paper

Motorcycle Headlamp Distribution Comparison

The forward lighting systems on a motorcycle differ from the forward lighting systems on passenger cars, trucks, and tractor trailer. Many motorcycles, for instance, have only a single headlamp. For motorcycles that have more than one headlamp, the total width between the headlamps is still significantly less than the width of an automobile, an important component in the detection of a vehicle at night, as well as a factor in the efficacy of the beam pattern to help a driver see ahead. Single headlamp configurations are centered on the vehicle, and provide little assistance in marking the outside boundaries like a passenger car or truck headlamps can. Further, because of the dynamics of a motorcycle, the performance of the headlamp will differ around turns or corners, since the motorcycle must lean in order to negotiate a turn. As a result, the beam pattern, and hence visibility, provided by the headlamps on a motorcycle are unique for motorized vehicles.