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Technical Paper

The Effects of Wheel Design on the Aerodynamic Drag of Passenger Vehicles

Approximately 25 % of a passenger vehicle’s aerodynamic drag comes directly or indirectly from its wheels, indicating that the rim geometry is highly relevant for increasing the vehicle’s overall energy efficiency. An extensive experimental study is presented where a parametric model of the rim design was developed, and statistical methods were employed to isolate the aerodynamic effects of certain geometric rim parameters. In addition to wind tunnel force measurements, this study employed the flowfield measurement techniques of wake surveys, wheelhouse pressure measurements, and base pressure measurements to investigate and explain the most important parameters’ effects on the flowfield. In addition, a numerical model of the vehicle with various rim geometries was developed and used to further elucidate the effects of certain geometric parameters on the flow field.
Technical Paper

Organic Evolution of Development Organizations - An Experience Report

In areas such as Active Safety, new technologies, designs (e.g. AUTOSAR) and methods are introduced at a rapid pace. To address the new demands, and also requirements on Functional Safety imposed by ISO 26262, the support for engineering methods, including tools and data management, needs to evolve as well. Generic and file-based data management tools, like spreadsheet tools, are popular in the industry due to their flexibility and legacy in the industry but provide poor control and traceability, while rigid and special-purpose tools provide structure and control of data but with limited evolvability. As organizations become agile, the need for flexible data management increases. Since products become more complex and developed in larger and distributed teams, the need for more unified, controlled, and consistent data increases.
Technical Paper

Surface Flow Visualization on a Full-Scale Passenger Car with Quantitative Tuft Image Processing

Flow visualization techniques are widely used in aerodynamics to investigate the surface trace pattern. In this experimental investigation, the surface flow pattern over the rear end of a full-scale passenger car is studied using tufts. The movement of the tufts is recorded with a DSLR still camera, which continuously takes pictures. A novel and efficient tuft image processing algorithm has been developed to extract the tuft orientations in each image. This allows the extraction of the mean tuft angle and other such statistics. From the extracted tuft angles, streamline plots are created to identify points of interest, such as saddle points as well as separation and reattachment lines. Furthermore, the information about the tuft orientation in each time step allows studying steady and unsteady flow phenomena. Hence, the tuft image processing algorithm provides more detailed information about the surface flow than the traditional tuft method.
Technical Paper

Improving Subjective Assessment of Vehicle Dynamics Evaluations by means of Computer-Tablets as Digital Aid

Vehicle dynamics development relies on subjective assessments (SA), which is a resource-intensive procedure requiring both expert drivers and vehicles. Furthermore, development projects becoming shorter and more complex, and increasing demands on quality require higher efficiency. Most research in this area has focused on moving from physical to virtual testing. However, SA remains the central method. Less attention has been given to provide better tools for the SA process itself. One promising approach is to introduce computer-tablets to aid data collection, which has proven to be useful in medical studies. Simple software solutions can eliminate the need to transcribe data and generate more flexible and better maintainable questionnaires. Tablets’ technical features envision promising enhancements of SA, which also enable better correlations to objective metrics, a requirement to improve CAE evaluations.
Technical Paper

Prediction of Airborne Sound Transmission into the Passenger Compartment

Several of the exterior noise sources existing around a vehicle can cause airborne noise issues at relatively low frequencies. SEA, traditionally used for airborne sound issues is not suitable for the frequency range of interest. Finite Element analysis has been used. Handling of the non-reflecting condition on the outer boundary of the exterior cavity is an issue. Recently, advances have been made in several commercially available codes, which made the analysis practical. Including the poro-elastic material model for foam-based carpets is also becoming practically possible. The purpose of the current study is to investigate the practical applications of those new developments against test data, and to estimate the feasibility of using these procedures in the vehicle development projects. Measurements were carried out in a new semi-anechoic chamber at Volvo Cars. These measurements involved 3 body objects - a Body-in-Blue (BIB) sedan, a Complete Vehicle (CV) sedan and a CV wagon.
Journal Article

Investigation of the Influence of Tyre Geometry on the Aerodynamics of Passenger Cars

It is well known that wheels are responsible for a significant amount of the total aerodynamic drag of passenger vehicles. Tyres, and mostly rims, have been the subject of research in the automotive industry for the past years, but their effect and interaction with each other and with the car exterior is still not completely understood. This paper focuses on the use of CFD to study the effects of tyre geometry (tyre profile and tyre tread) on road vehicle aerodynamics. Whenever possible, results of the numerical computations are compared with experiments. More than sixty configurations were simulated. These simulations combined different tyre profiles, treads, rim designs and spoke orientation on two car types: a sedan and a sports wagon. Two tyre geometries were obtained directly from the tyre manufacturer, while a third geometry was obtained from our database and represents a generic tyre which covers different profiles of a given tyre size.
Technical Paper

Development of Acoustic Models for High Frequency Resonators for Turbocharged IC-Engines

Automotive turbo compressors generate high frequency noise in the air intake system. This sound generation is of importance for the perceived sound quality of luxury cars and may need to be controlled by the use of silencers. The silencers usually contain resonators with slits, perforates and cavities. The purpose of the present work is to develop acoustic models for these resonators where relevant effects such as the effect of a realistic mean flow on losses and 3D effects are considered. An experimental campaign has been performed where the two-port matrices and transmission loss of sample resonators have been measured without flow and for two different mean flow speeds. Models for two resonators have been developed using 1D linear acoustic theory and a FEM code (COMSOL Multi-physics). For some resonators a separate linear 1D Matlab code has also been developed.
Technical Paper

Challenges and Opportunities for the Transition to Highly Energy-Efficient Passenger Cars

Maintaining the current ratio between certified and the customer-observed fuel consumption even with future required levels poses a considerable challenge. Increasing the efficiency of the driveline enables certified fuel consumption down to a feasible level in the order of 80 g CO₂/km using fossil fuels. Mainly affecting off-cycle fuel consumption, energy amounts used to create good interior climate as well as energy-consuming options and features threaten to further increase. Progressing urbanization will lead to decreasing average vehicle speeds and driving distances. Highly efficient powertrains come with decreased amounts of waste energy traditionally used for interior climate conditioning, thus making necessary a change of auxiliary systems.
Technical Paper

Development of the Euro 5 Combustion System for Volvo Cars' 2.4.I Diesel Engine

The development of a new combustion system for a light-duty diesel engine is presented. The soot-NOx trade-off is significantly improved with maintained or improved efficiency. This is accomplished only by altering the combustion chamber geometry, and thereby the in-cylinder flow. The bowl geometry is developed in CFD and validated in single cylinder tests. Tests and simulations align remarkably well. Under identical conditions in the engine the new combustion chamber decreases smoke by 11-27%, NOx by 2-11%, and maintains efficiency as compared to the baseline geometry. The injector nozzle is matched to the new bowl using design of experiments (DoE). By this method transfer functions are obtained that can be used to optimize the system using analytical tools. The emissions show a complex dependence on the nozzle geometry. The emission dependence on nozzle geometry varies greatly over the engine operating range.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Hazard Identification Methods in the Automotive Domain

Many automotive electronic systems must be developed using a safety process. A preliminary hazard analysis is a first and an important step in such a process. This experimental study evaluates two methods for hazard identification using an electrical steering column lock system. Both methods are found to be applicable for hazard identification in an automotive context. It is also concluded that the induction with the failure modes method is less time consuming and easier to use than the method based on induction with generic low level hazards. Further, two proposals are presented to improve efficiency and consistency, reuse of generic hazards by component profiles and a domain specific catalogue of vehicle phases.
Technical Paper

A Method for Estimating the Benefit of Autonomous Braking Systems Using Traffic Accident Data

One way of avoiding crashes or mitigating the consequences of a crash is to apply an autonomous braking system. Quantifying the benefit of such a system in terms of injury reduction is a challenge. At the same time it is a fundamental input into the vehicle development process. This paper describes a method to estimate the effectiveness of reducing speed prior to impact. A holistic view of quantifying the benefit is presented, based on existing real life crash data and basic dynamic theories. It involves a systematic and new way of examining accident data in order to extract information concerning pre-crash situations. One problem area when implementing collision mitigation systems is being able to achieve sufficient target discrimination. The results from the case study highlight frontal impact situations from real world accident data that have the greatest potential in terms of improving accident outcome.
Technical Paper

CFD-Analysis of Cycle Averaged Heat Flux and Engine Cooling in an IC-Engine

It is demonstrated that the cycle averaged heat flux on the hot gas side of the cylinders can be obtained using in-cylinder CFD-analysis. Together with the heat transfer coefficient obtained from the coolant jacket CFD-analysis, a complete set of boundary conditions are made available exclusively based on simulations. The engine metal temperatures could then be predicted using FEA and the results are compared to an extensive set of measured data. Also 1-D codes are used to provide cooling circuit boundary conditions and gas exchange boundary condition for the CFD-models. The predicted temperature distribution in the engine is desirable for accurate and reliable prediction of knock, durability problems, bore distortion and valve seat distortion.
Technical Paper

Field Method for Torsion Stiffness Measurement of Complete Vehicles

The following paper describes how to measure the global torsional stiffness of a complete car under field-like conditions. All that's needed are lifting devices, two stands of equal height, three glide planes or equivalent, three scales and two inclinometers, a spirit level, some pieces of aluminum and a glue gun. The results from four measured cars are presented and a comparison is made with values obtained with laboratory equipment and data from manufacturers. The method is a fast and economic means to find the most interesting cars that then can be selected for measurement by traditional methods, giving the stiffness as a function of the vehicles long axis, and thus minimizes the cost of benchmarking. Time for measuring one car with all equipment readily available and with personnel having some experience of the method is about two hours. Only the sway bars have to be disconnected. Absolutely no damage to the measured car means that rented cars can be used.
Technical Paper

Design Process for Property Based Optimization of Vehicle Body Structures

Structural topology optimization is a truly interesting and important area, which has developed very rapidly and matured considerably in many fields. However, the use of topology optimization for global structures, using detailed design, is still tremendously time-consuming. From this perspective, the author sees the development of methods and tools to include optimization on simplified models during the design process as the most interesting and important step towards implementing structure topology optimization in the vehicle industry. In the design process, structures are broken down into beams and joints, and are described using a PBM (Property Based Model). Beams are described using a rectangular cross-section with the possibility of being changed in size, shape and orientation. Joints are described as flexible elements using a set of sub-elements called 2-joints that makes it possible for the joint model to change topology and stiffness.
Technical Paper

Fast and economic stiffness evaluation of mechanical joints

Car body structures and the joints between beam members have a great impact on global vehicle stiffness. With the method presented in this paper it is possible to experimentally assess the stiffness of joints by a robust and economic means. The stiffness of a beam can easily be found experimentally just by cutting it in two and using the cross-sections to calculate the polar moment of inertia. When it comes to a joint, there are no formulae or explicit expressions describing its behavior. Therefore, measurement of its mechanical behavior has to be made. The dynamic joint method presented here does not need levers or a costly, rigid set-up, but an economical free-free set-up and cast-on weights. Furthermore, the same method can be emulated by FEM when a digital model exists.
Technical Paper

Low Cycle Fatigue of Spot Welds Under Constant and Variable Amplitude Loading

Experience from several car projects shows that S-N curves for spot welds generated under load control in the high cycle fatigue regime might be very conservative when used in the low cycle fatigue regime. Therefore, force and displacement controlled low cycle fatigue tests were carried out on peel and shear loaded specimens. Both constant (CA) and variable amplitude (VA) load signals were used. Finally, a method for predicting fatigue life of spot welds with increased accuracy in the low cycle fatigue regime is proposed. The method is simple, fast and accurate and can be used together with linear finite element analysis (FEA) and existing fatigue packages.
Technical Paper

Development of a Haptic Intervention System for Unintended Lane Departure

Many accidents are road departures because of the drivers' lack of attention. This is in many cases due to distraction, drowsiness or intoxication. The Haptic Lane Departure Warning System described here is intended as an active safety system, thus aiming at decreasing the amount of unwanted lane departures. The challenge in the development of such kinds of functions lies in the determination of dangerous situations and the design of appropriate warning/intervention strategies. The system is intended to go unnoticed with the driver and intervenes only in instances where the driver mismanages steering control. Unlike systems which issue an audible sound, the type of warning is a tactile feedback via the steering wheel. This torque is designed in a way that it communicates to the driver the appropriate steering wheel angle required in order to come back in lane.
Technical Paper

Decision Making for Collision Avoidance Systems

Driver errors cause a majority of all car accidents. Forward collision avoidance systems aim at avoiding, or at least mitigating, host vehicle frontal collisions, of which rear-end collisions are one of the most common. This is done by either warning the driver or braking or steering away, respectively, where each action requires its own considerations and design. We here focus on forward collision by braking, and present a general method for calculating the risk for collision. A brake maneuver is activated to mitigate the accident when the probability of collision is one, taking all driver actions into considerations. We describe results from a simulation study using a large number of scenarios, created from extensive accident statistics. We also show some results from an implementation of a forward collision avoidance system in a Volvo V70. The system has been tested in real traffic, and in collision scenarios (with an inflatable car) showing promising results.
Technical Paper

Open-Interface Definitions for Automotive Systems1 Application to a Brake by Wire System

Today automotive system suppliers develop more-or-less independent systems, such as brake, power steering and suspension systems. In the future, car manufacturers like Volvo will build up vehicle control systems combining their own algorithms with algorithms provided by automotive system suppliers. Standardization of interfaces to actuators, sensors and functions is an important enabler for this vision and will have major consequences for functionality, prices and lead times, and thus affects both vehicle manufacturers and automotive suppliers. The investigation of the level of appropriate interfaces, as part of the European BRAKE project, is described here. Potential problems and consequences are discussed from both a technical and a business perspective. This paper provides a background on BRAKE and on the functional decomposition upon which the interface definitions are based. Finally, the interface definitions for brake system functionality are given.
Technical Paper

European Side-markers Effect on Traffic Safety

In 1993 new European legislation regarding side-markers for passenger cars became effective. Volvo requested the TNO-Human Factors Research Institute (HFRI) to investigate the possible safety benefit of this European side-markers configuration. A test panel at TNO- HFRI was used to determine the difference in response time and detection error of drivers, confronted with slides of vehicles with and without the mentioned new vehicle side-marker configuration in several visibility conditions, crossing illumination and different vehicle approach angles. The investigation showed a significant faster vehicle recognition with less detection errors in case the approaching car was equipped with the bright amber side-markers. This improved vehicle conspicuity can be a benefit in crash avoidance, especially when the driver approaches a crossing with complex light environment and reduced visibility.