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Technical Paper

Analysis and Mathematical Modeling of Car-Following Behavior of Automated Vehicles for Safety Evaluation

2019-04-02
2019-01-0142
With the emergence of Driving Automation Systems (SAE levels 1-5), the necessity arises for methods of evaluating these systems. However, these systems are much more challenging to evaluate than traditional safety features (SAE level 0). This is because an understanding of the Driving Automation system’s response in all possible scenarios is desired, but prohibitive to comprehensively test. Hence, this paper attempts to evaluate one such system, by modeling its behavior. The model generated parameters not only allow for objective comparison between vehicles, but also provide a more complete understanding of the system. The model can also be used to extrapolate results by simulating other scenarios without the need for conducting more tests. In this paper, low speed automated driving (also known as Traffic Jam Assist (TJA)) is studied. This study focused on the longitudinal behavior of automated vehicles while following a lead vehicle (LV) in traffic jam scenarios.
Technical Paper

Optimizing Seat Belt and Airbag Designs for Rear Seat Occupant Protection in Frontal Crashes

2017-11-13
2017-22-0004
Recent field data have shown that the occupant protection in vehicle rear seats failed to keep pace with advances in the front seats likely due to the lack of advanced safety technologies. The objective of this study was to optimize advanced restraint systems for protecting rear seat occupants with a range of body sizes under different frontal crash pulses. Three series of sled tests (baseline tests, advanced restraint trial tests, and final tests), MADYMO model validations against a subset of the sled tests, and design optimizations using the validated models were conducted to investigate rear seat occupant protection with 4 Anthropomorphic Test Devices (ATDs) and 2 crash pulses.
Technical Paper

Biofidelity Evaluation of the THOR and Hybrid III 50th Percentile Male Frontal Impact Anthropomorphic Test Devices

2017-11-13
2017-22-0009
The objective of this study is to present a quantitative comparison of the biofidelity of the THOR and Hybrid III 50th percentile male ATDs. Quantitative biofidelity was assessed using NHTSA’s Biofidelity Ranking System in a total of 21 test conditions, including impacts to the head, face, neck, upper thorax, lower oblique thorax, upper abdomen, lower abdomen, femur, knee, lower leg, and whole-body sled tests to evaluate upper body kinematics and thoracic response under frontal and frontal oblique restraint loading. Biofidelity Ranking System scores for THOR were better (lower) than Hybrid III in 5 of 7 body regions for internal biofidelity and 6 of 7 body regions for external biofidelity. Nomenclature is presented to categorize the quantitative results, which show overall good internal and external biofidelity of the THOR compared to the good (internal) and marginal (external) biofidelity of the Hybrid III.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Human Driver Behavior in Highway Cut-in Scenarios

2017-03-28
2017-01-1402
The rapid development of driver assistance systems, such as lane-departure warning (LDW) and lane-keeping support (LKS), along with widely publicized reports of automated vehicle testing, have created the expectation for an increasing amount of vehicle automation in the near future. As these systems are being phased in, the coexistence of automated vehicles and human-driven vehicles on roadways will be inevitable and necessary. In order to develop automated vehicles that integrate well with those that are operated in traditional ways, an appropriate understanding of human driver behavior in normal traffic situations would be beneficial. Unlike many research studies that have focused on collision-avoidance maneuvering, this paper analyzes the behavior of human drivers in response to cut-in vehicles moving at similar speeds. Both automated and human-driven vehicles are likely to encounter this scenario in daily highway driving.
Technical Paper

Development, Evaluation, and Sensitivity Analysis of Parametric Finite Element Whole-Body Human Models in Side Impacts

2016-11-07
2016-22-0014
Occupant stature and body shape may have significant effects on injury risks in motor vehicle crashes, but the current finite element (FE) human body models (HBMs) only represent occupants with a few sizes and shapes. Our recent studies have demonstrated that, by using a mesh morphing method, parametric FE HBMs can be rapidly developed for representing a diverse population. However, the biofidelity of those models across a wide range of human attributes has not been established. Therefore, the objectives of this study are 1) to evaluate the accuracy of HBMs considering subject-specific geometry information, and 2) to apply the parametric HBMs in a sensitivity analysis for identifying the specific parameters affecting body responses in side impact conditions. Four side-impact tests with two male post-mortem human subjects (PMHSs) were selected to evaluate the accuracy of the geometry and impact responses of the morphed HBMs.
Technical Paper

The Large Omnidirectional Child (LODC) ATD: Biofidelity Comparison with the Hybrid III 10 Year Old

2016-11-07
2016-22-0017
When the Hybrid III 10-year old (HIII-10C) anthropomorphic test device (ATD) was adopted into Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 49 Part 572 as the best available tool for evaluating large belt-positioning booster seats in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 213, NHTSA stated that research activities would continue to improve the performance of the HIII-10C to address biofidelity concerns. A significant part of this effort has been NHTSA’s in-house development of the Large Omnidirectional Child (LODC) ATD. This prototype ATD is comprised of (1) a head with pediatric mass properties, (2) a neck that produces head lag with Z-axis rotation at the atlanto-occipital joint, (3) a flexible thoracic spine, (4) multi-point thoracic deflection measurement capability, (5) skeletal anthropometry representative of a seated child, and (6) an abdomen that can directly measure belt loading.
Technical Paper

Biomechanical Responses of PMHS Subjected to Abdominal Seatbelt Loading

2016-11-07
2016-22-0004
Past studies have found that a pressure based injury risk function was the best predictor of liver injuries due to blunt impacts. In an effort to expand upon these findings, this study investigated the biomechanical responses of the abdomen of post mortem human surrogates (PMHS) to high-speed seatbelt loading and developed external response targets in conjunction with proposing an abdominal injury criterion. A total of seven unembalmed PMHS, with an average mass and stature of 71 kg and 174 cm respectively were subjected to belt loading using a seatbelt pull mechanism, with the PMHS seated upright in a free-back configuration. A pneumatic piston pulled a seatbelt into the abdomen at the level of the umbilicus with a nominal peak penetration speed of 4.0 m/s. Pressure transducers were placed in the re-pressurized abdominal vasculature, including the inferior vena cava (IVC) and abdominal aorta, to measure internal pressure variation during the event.
Technical Paper

A Pilot Study of Occupant Accommodation and Seat Belt Fit for Law Enforcement Officers

2016-04-05
2016-01-1504
Law enforcement officers (LEO) make extensive use of vehicles to perform their jobs, often spending large portions of a shift behind the wheel. Few LEO vehicles are purpose-built; the vast majority are modified civilian vehicles. Data from the field indicate that LEO suffer from relatively high levels musculoskeletal injury that may be due in part to poor accommodation provided by their vehicles. LEO are also exposed to elevated crash injury risk, which may be exacerbated by a compromise in the performance of the occupant restraint systems due to body-borne equipment. A pilot study was conducted to demonstrate the application of three-dimensional anthropometric scanning and measurement technology to address critical concerns related to vehicle design. Detailed posture and belt fit data were gathered from five law enforcement officers as they sat in the patrol vehicles that they regularly used and in a mockup of a mid-sized vehicle.
Technical Paper

Integration of Active and Passive Safety Technologies - A Method to Study and Estimate Field Capability

2015-11-09
2015-22-0010
The objective of this study is to develop a method that uses a combination of field data analysis, naturalistic driving data analysis, and computational simulations to explore the potential injury reduction capabilities of integrating passive and active safety systems in frontal impact conditions. For the purposes of this study, the active safety system is actually a driver assist (DA) feature that has the potential to reduce delta-V prior to a crash, in frontal or other crash scenarios. A field data analysis was first conducted to estimate the delta-V distribution change based on an assumption of 20% crash avoidance resulting from a pre-crash braking DA feature. Analysis of changes in driver head location during 470 hard braking events in a naturalistic driving study found that drivers’ head positions were mostly in the center position before the braking onset, while the percentage of time drivers leaning forward or backward increased significantly after the braking onset.
Technical Paper

Development and Validation of an Older Occupant Finite Element Model of a Mid-Sized Male for Investigation of Age-related Injury Risk

2015-11-09
2015-22-0014
The aging population is a growing concern as the increased fragility and frailty of the elderly results in an elevated incidence of injury as well as an increased risk of mortality and morbidity. To assess elderly injury risk, age-specific computational models can be developed to directly calculate biomechanical metrics for injury. The first objective was to develop an older occupant Global Human Body Models Consortium (GHBMC) average male model (M50) representative of a 65 year old (YO) and to perform regional validation tests to investigate predicted fractures and injury severity with age. Development of the GHBMC M50 65 YO model involved implementing geometric, cortical thickness, and material property changes with age. Regional validation tests included a chest impact, a lateral impact, a shoulder impact, a thoracoabdominal impact, an abdominal bar impact, a pelvic impact, and a lateral sled test.
Technical Paper

Response and Tolerance of Female and/or Elderly PMHS to Lateral Impact

2014-11-10
2014-22-0015
Eight whole fresh-frozen cadavers (6 female, 2 male) that were elderly and/or female were laterally impacted using UMTRI's dual-sled side-impact test facility. Cadavers were not excluded on the basis of old age or bone diseases that affect tolerance. A thinly padded, multi-segment impactor was used that independently measured force histories applied to the shoulder, thorax, abdomen, greater trochanter, iliac wing, and femur of each PMHS. Impactor plates were adjusted vertically and laterally toward the subject so that contact with body regions occurred simultaneously and so that each segment contacted the same region on every subject. This configuration minimized the effects of body shape on load sharing between regions. Prior to all tests, cadavers were CT scanned to check for pre-existing skeletal injuries. Cadavers were excluded if they had pre-existing rib fractures or had undergone CPR.
Technical Paper

PMHS Impact Response in 3 m/s and 8 m/s Nearside Impacts with Abdomen Offset

2013-11-11
2013-22-0015
Lateral impact tests were performed using seven male post-mortem human subjects (PMHS) to characterize the force-deflection response of contacted body regions, including the lower abdomen. All tests were performed using a dual-sled, side-impact test facility. A segmented impactor was mounted on a sled that was pneumatically accelerated into a second, initially stationary sled on which a subject was seated facing perpendicular to the direction of impact. Positions of impactor segments were adjusted for each subject so that forces applied to different anatomic regions, including thorax, abdomen, greater trochanter, iliac wing, and thigh, could be independently measured on each PMHS. The impactor contact surfaces were located in the same vertical plane, except that the abdomen plate was offset 5.1 cm towards the subject.
Technical Paper

Development of Brain Injury Criteria (BrIC)

2013-11-11
2013-22-0010
Rotational motion of the head as a mechanism for brain injury was proposed back in the 1940s. Since then a multitude of research studies by various institutions were conducted to confirm/reject this hypothesis. Most of the studies were conducted on animals and concluded that rotational kinematics experienced by the animal's head may cause axonal deformations large enough to induce their functional deficit. Other studies utilized physical and mathematical models of human and animal heads to derive brain injury criteria based on deformation/pressure histories computed from their models.
Technical Paper

Effects of Driver Characteristics on Seat Belt Fit

2013-11-11
2013-22-0002
A laboratory study of posture and belt fit was conducted with 46 men and 51 women, 61% of whom were age 60 years or older and 32% age 70 years or older. In addition, 28% of the 97 participants were obese, defined as body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m2. A mockup of a passenger vehicle driver's station was created and five belt anchorage configurations were produced by moving the buckle, outboard-upper (D-ring), and outboard-lower anchorages. An investigator recorded the three-dimensional locations of landmarks on the belt and the participant's body using a coordinate measurement machine. The location of the belt with respect to the underlying skeletal structures was analyzed, along with the length of belt webbing. Using linear regression models, an increase in age from 20 to 80 years resulted in the lap belt positioned 18 mm further forward relative to the pelvis, 26 mm greater lap belt webbing length, and 19 mm greater shoulder belt length.
Technical Paper

Biomechanical Considerations for Assessing Interactions of Children and Small Occupants with Inflatable Seat Belts

2013-11-11
2013-22-0004
NHTSA estimates that more than half of the lives saved (168,524) in car crashes between 1960 and 2002 were due to the use of seat belts. Nevertheless, while seat belts are vital to occupant crash protection, safety researchers continue efforts to further enhance the capability of seat belts in reducing injury and fatality risk in automotive crashes. Examples of seat belt design concepts that have been investigated by researchers include inflatable, 4-point, and reverse geometry seat belts. In 2011, Ford Motor Company introduced the first rear seat inflatable seat belts into production vehicles. A series of tests with child and small female-sized Anthropomorphic Test Devices (ATD) and small, elderly female Post Mortem Human Subjects (PMHS) was performed to evaluate interactions of prototype inflatable seat belts with the chest, upper torso, head and neck of children and small occupants, from infants to young adolescents.
Technical Paper

Dynamic Properties of the Upper Thoracic Spine-Pectoral Girdle (UTS-PG) System and Corresponding Kinematics in PMHS Sled Tests

2012-10-29
2012-22-0003
Anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs) should accurately depict head kinematics in crash tests, and thoracic spine properties have been demonstrated to affect those kinematics. To investigate the relationships between thoracic spine system dynamics and upper thoracic kinematics in crash-level scenarios, three adult post-mortem human subjects (PMHS) were tested in both Isolated Segment Manipulation (ISM) and sled configurations. In frontal sled tests, the T6-T8 vertebrae of the PMHS were coupled through a novel fixation technique to a rigid seat to directly measure thoracic spine loading. Mid-thoracic spine and belt loads along with head, spine, and pectoral girdle (PG) displacements were measured in 12 sled tests conducted with the three PMHS (3-pt lap-shoulder belted/unbelted at velocities from 3.8 - 7.0 m/s applied directly through T6-T8).
Technical Paper

Response of PMHS to High- and Low-Speed Oblique and Lateral Pneumatic Ram Impacts

2011-11-07
2011-22-0011
In ISO Technical Report 9790 (1999) normalized lateral and oblique thoracic force-time responses of PMHS subjected to blunt pendulum impacts at 4.3 m/s were deemed sufficiently similar to be grouped together in a single biomechanical response corridor. Shaw et al., (2006) presented results of paired oblique and lateral thoracic pneumatic ram impact tests to opposite sides of seven PMHS at sub-injurious speed (2.5 m/s). Normalized responses showed that oblique impacts resulted in more deflection and less force, whereas lateral impacts resulted in less deflection and more force. This study presents results of oblique and lateral thoracic impacts to PMHS at higher speeds (4.5 and 5.5 m/s) to assess whether lateral relative to oblique responses are different as observed by Shaw et al., or similar as observed by ISO.
Technical Paper

Biomechanical Assessment of a Rear-Seat Inflatable Seatbelt in Frontal Impacts

2011-11-07
2011-22-0008
This study evaluated the biomechanical performance of a rear-seat inflatable seatbelt system and compared it to that of a 3-point seatbelt system, which has a long history of good real-world performance. Frontal-impact sled tests were conducted with Hybrid III anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs) and with post mortem human subjects (PMHS) using both restraint systems and a generic rear-seat configuration. Results from these tests demonstrated: a) reduction in forward head excursion with the inflatable seatbelt system when compared to that of a 3-point seatbelt and; b) a reduction in ATD and PMHS peak chest deflections and the number of PMHS rib fractures with the inflatable seatbelt system and c) a reduction in PMHS cervical-spine injuries, due to the interaction of the chin with the inflated shoulder belt. These results suggest that an inflatable seatbelt system will offer additional benefits to some occupants in the rear seats.
Technical Paper

Factors Associated With Abdominal Injury in Frontal, Farside, and Nearside Crashes

2010-11-03
2010-22-0005
The NASS-CDS (1998-2008) and CIREN datasets were analyzed to identify factors contributing to abdominal injury in crash environments where belt use and airbag deployment are common. In frontal impacts, the percentage of occupants sustaining abdominal injury is three times higher for unbelted compared to belted front-row adult occupants (p≺0.0001) at both AIS2+ and AIS3+ injury levels. Airbag deployment does not substantially affect the percentage of occupants who sustain abdominal injuries in frontal impacts (p=0.6171), while belt use reduces the percentage of occupants sustaining abdominal injury in both nearside and farside crashes (p≺0.0001). Right-front passengers in right-side impacts have the highest risk (1.91%) of AIS 3+ abdominal injury (p=0.03). The percentage of occupants with AIS 3+ abdominal injuries does not vary with age for frontal, nearside, or farside impacts.
Technical Paper

Field Demonstration of a Camera/Video Imaging System for Heavy Vehicles - Driver Lane Change Performance Preliminary Results

2010-10-05
2010-01-2020
On-board Camera/Video Imaging Systems (C/VISs) for heavy vehicles display live images to the driver of selected areas to the sides, and in back of the truck's exterior using displays inside the truck cabin. They provide a countermeasure to blind-spot related crashes by allowing drivers to see objects not ordinarily visible by a typical mirror configuration, and to better judge the clearance between the trailer and an adjacent vehicle when changing lanes. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute is currently investigating commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver performance with C/VISs through a technology field demonstration sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Data collection, which consists of recording twelve CMV drivers performing their daily employment duties with and without a C/VIS for four months, is currently underway.
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