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Technical Paper

An Immersive Vehicle-in-the-Loop VR Platform for Evaluating Human-to-Autonomous Vehicle Interactions

2019-04-02
2019-01-0143
The deployment of autonomous vehicles in real-world scenarios requires thorough testing to ensure sufficient safety levels. Driving simulators have proven to be useful testbeds for assisted and autonomous driving functionalities but may fail to capture all the nuances of real-world conditions. In this paper, we present a snapshot of the design and evaluation using a Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control application of virtual reality platform currently in development at our institution. The platform is designed so to: allow for incorporating live real-world driving data into the simulation, enabling Vehicle-in-the-Loop testing of autonomous driving behaviors and providing us with a useful mean to evaluate the human factor in the autonomous vehicle context.
Technical Paper

Automotive Waste Heat Recovery after Engine Shutoff in Parking Lots

2019-04-02
2019-01-0157
1 The efficiency of internal combustion engines remains a research challenge given the mechanical friction and thermodynamic losses. Although incremental engine design changes continue to emerge, the harvesting of waste heat represents an immediate opportunity to address improved energy utilization. An external mobile thermal recovery system for gasoline and diesel engines is proposed for use in parking lots based on phase change material cartridges. Heat is extracted via a retrofitted conduction plate beneath the engine block after engine shutoff. An autonomous robot attaches the cartridge to the plate and transfers the heat from the block to the Phase Change Material (PCM) and returns later to retrieve the packet. These reusable cartridges are then driven to a Heat Extraction and Recycling Tower (HEART) facility where a heat exchanger harvests the thermal energy stored in the cartridges.
Technical Paper

Real-time Reinforcement Learning Optimized Energy Management for a 48V Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle

2019-04-02
2019-01-1208
Energy management of hybrid vehicle has been a widely researched area. Strategies like dynamic programming (DP), equivalent consumption minimization strategy (ECMS), Pontryagin’s minimum principle (PMP) are well analyzed in literatures. However, the adaptive optimization work is still lacking, especially for reinforcement learning (RL). In this paper, Q-learning, as one of the model-free reinforcement learning method, is implemented in a 48V mild hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) framework to optimize the fuel economy. Different from other RL work in HEV, this paper considers not only battery state-of-charge (SOC), but also vehicle speed and vehicle torque demand as the Q-learning states. In the cost function definition, the fuel consumption contains engine fuel consumption and equivalent battery fuel consumption, which shares the idea with ECMS. The Q-value table is trained over one driving cycle multiple times. During the training process, the exploration and exploitation is discussed.
Technical Paper

An Innovative Electric Motor Cooling System for Hybrid Vehicles - Model and Test

2019-04-02
2019-01-1076
Enhanced electric motor performance in transportation vehicles can improve system reliability and durability over rigorous operating cycles. The design of innovative heat rejection strategies in electric motors can minimize cooling power consumption and associated noise generation while offering configuration flexibility. This study investigates an innovative electric motor cooling strategy through bench top thermal testing on an emulated electric motor. The system design includes passive (e.g., heat pipes) cooling as the primary heat rejection pathway with supplemental conventional cooling using a variable speed coolant pump and radiator fan(s). The integrated thermal structure, “cradle”, transfers heat from the motor shell towards an end plate for heat dissipation to the ambient surroundings or transmission to an external thermal bus to remote heat exchanger.
Technical Paper

Simulation and Its Contribution to Evaluate Highly Automated Driving Functions

2019-04-02
2019-01-0140
A key criterion for launching autonomous vehicles on real roads is the knowledge of their capability to ensure traffic safety. In contrast to ADAS, deriving this measure of safety is difficult to achieve as the functional scope of an autonomous driving function exceeds by far the one of ADAS. As a consequence, real-world testing solely is not sufficient enough to cover the required test volume. This assessment problem imposes new requirements on a valid test concept for automated driving. A possible solution represents simulation by enabling it to generate reliable test kilometers. As a first step, we discuss in this paper the feasibility of simulation frameworks to re-simulate a real-world test in certain scenarios. We will demonstrate that even with ground truth information of the vehicle odometry and corresponding environment model an acceptable accordance of functional behavior is not guaranteed.
Technical Paper

Student Concept Vehicle: Development and Usability of an Innovative Holographic User Interface Concept and a Novel Parking Assistance System Concept

2019-04-02
2019-01-0396
The Deep Orange program is a concept vehicle development program focused on providing hands-on experience in design, engineering, prototyping and production planning as part of students’ two-year MS graduate education. Throughout this project, the team was challenged to create innovative concepts during the ideation phase as part of building the running vehicle. This paper describes the usability studies performed on two of the vehicle concepts that require driver interaction. One concept is a human machine interface (HMI) that uses a holographic companion that can act as a concierge for all functions of the vehicle. After creating a prototype using existing technologies and developing a user interface controlled by hand gestures, a usability study was completed with older adults. The results suggest the input method was not intuitive. Participants demonstrated better performance with tasks using discrete hand motions in comparison to those that required continuous motions.
Technical Paper

Modeling and Learning of Object Placing Tasks from Human Demonstrations in Smart Manufacturing

2019-04-02
2019-01-0700
In this paper, we present a framework for the robot to learn how to place objects to a workpiece by learning from humans in smart manufacturing. In the proposed framework, the semantic event chain (SEC) is implemented to identify the general object-action-location relationships. The Generalized Voronoi Diagrams (GVD) is used to determine the relative position and orientation between the object the corresponding mount. In the learning phase, we keep tracking the image segments in the human demonstration. For the moment when a spatial relation of some segments are changed in a discontinuous way, the state changes are recorded by the SEC, while the relative position and orientation of the object and the corresponding mount are presented by GVD. When the object or the relative position and orientation between the object and the workpiece are changed, the GVD, as well as the shape of contours extracted from the GVD, are also different.
Technical Paper

Prediction of Human Actions in Assembly Process by a Spatial-Temporal End-to-End Learning Model

2019-04-02
2019-01-0509
It’s important to predict human actions in the industry assembly process. Foreseeing future actions before they happened is an essential part for flexible human-robot collaboration and crucial to safety issues. Vision-based human action prediction from videos provides intuitive and adequate knowledge for many complex applications. This problem can be interpreted as deducing the next action of people from a short video clip. The history information needs to be considered to learn these relations among time steps for predicting the future steps. However, it is difficult to extract the history information and use it to infer the future situation with traditional methods. In this scenario, a model is needed to handle the spatial and temporal details stored in the past human motions and construct the future action based on limited accessible human demonstrations.
Technical Paper

Strain Rate Effect on Martensitic Transformation in a TRIP Steel Containing Carbide-Free Bainite

2019-04-02
2019-01-0521
Adiabatic heating during plastic straining can slow the diffusionless shear transformation of austenite to martensite in steels that exhibit transformation induced plasticity (TRIP). However, the extent to which the transformation is affected over a strain rate range of relevance to automotive stamping and vehicle impact events is unclear for most third-generation advanced high strength TRIP steels. In this study, an 1180MPa minimum tensile strength TRIP steel with carbide-free bainite is evaluated by measuring the variation of retained austenite volume fraction (RAVF) in fractured tensile specimens with position and strain. This requires a combination of servo-hydraulic load frame instrumented with high speed stereo digital image correlation for measurement of strains and ex-situ synchrotron x-ray diffraction for determination of RAVF in fractured tensile specimens.
Technical Paper

Design of a Portable Thermoelectric Convective Cooling System for Neighborhood Electric Vehicles and Other Applications

2019-04-02
2019-01-0499
Automotive technology is increasingly reliant on electrically driven accessories, systems, and payloads thanks to the rising popularity of electric and hybrid electric vehicles. Solid state and similar purely electrical solutions such as thermoelectric devices are eminently preferable sources for thermal management in neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) and similar short-range automobiles which often do not come stock with a climate control system. Directed convection strategies such as zone cooling using DC electric current are a natural fit for the infinitely scalable thermal control architecture possible with thermoelectrics. One such prototype device, actuated by thermoelectric devices, has been developed to meet a variety of thermal management needs with a versatile, portable system suitable for NEVs, micro cars without air conditioning, or even more specialized cooling needs.
Technical Paper

A Voice and Pointing Gesture Interaction System for On-Route Update of Autonomous Vehicles’ Path

2019-04-02
2019-01-0679
This paper describes the development and simulation of a voice and pointing gesture interaction system for on-route update of autonomous vehicles’ path. The objective of this research is to provide users of autonomous vehicles a human vehicle interaction mode that enables them to make and communicate spontaneous decisions to the autonomous car, modifying its pre-defined autonomous route in real-time. For example, similar to giving directions to a taxi driver, a user will be able to tell the car «Stop there» or «Take that exit». In this way, the user control/spontaneity vs interaction flexibility dilemma that current autonomous vehicle concepts have, could be solved, potentially increasing the user acceptance of this technology. The system was designed following a level structured state machine approach. The simulations were developed using MATLAB and VREP, a robotics simulation platform, which has accurate vehicle and sensor models.
Technical Paper

Use of Machine Learning for Real-Time Non-Linear Model Predictive Engine Control

2019-04-02
2019-01-1289
Non-linear model predictive engine control (nMPC) systems have the ability to reduce calibration effort while improving transient engine response. The main drawback of nMPC for engine control is the computational power required to realize real-time operation. Most of this computational power is spent linearizing the non-linear plant model at each time step. Additionally, the effectiveness of the nMPC system relies heavily on the accuracy of the model(s) used to predict the future system behavior, which can be difficult to model physically. This paper introduces a hybrid modeling approach for internal combustion engines that combines physics-based and machine learning techniques to generate accurate models that can be linearized with low computational power. This approach preserves the generalization and robustness of physics-based models, while maintaining high accuracy of data-driven models. Advantages of applying the proposed model with nMPC are discussed.
Technical Paper

Knock Thresholds and Stochastic Performance Predictions: An Experimental Validation Study

2019-04-02
2019-01-1168
Knock control systems are fundamentally stochastic, regulating some aspect of the distribution from which observed knock intensities are drawn. Typically a simple threshold is applied, and the controller regulates the resultant knock event rate. Recent work suggests that the choice of threshold can have a significant impact on closed loop performance, but to date such studies have been performed only in simulation. Rigorous assessment of closed loop performance is also a challenging topic in its own right because response trajectories depend on the random arrival of knock events. The results therefore vary from one experiment to the next, even under identical operating conditions. To address this issue, stochastic simulation methods have been developed which aim to predict the expected statistics of the closed loop response, but again these have not been validated experimentally.
Technical Paper

A Systems Approach in Developing an Ultralightweight Outside Mounted Rearview Mirror Using Discontinuous Fiber Reinforced Thermoplastics

2019-04-02
2019-01-1124
Fuel efficiency improvement in automobiles has been a topic of great interest over the past few years, especially with the introduction of the new CAFE 2025 standards. Although there are multiple ways of improving the fuel efficiency of an automobile, lightweighting is one of the most common approaches taken by many automotive manufacturers. Lightweighting is even more significant in electric vehicles as it directly affects the range of the vehicle. Amidst this context of lightweighting, the use of composite materials as alternatives to metals has been proven in the past to help achieve substantial weight reduction. The focus of using composites for weight reduction has however been typically limited to major structural components, such as BiW and closures, due to high material costs. Secondary structural components which contribute approximately 30% of the vehicle weight are usually neglected by these weight reduction studies.
Technical Paper

Trust-Based Control and Scheduling for UGV Platoon under Cyber Attacks

2019-04-02
2019-01-1077
Unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) may encounter difficulties accommodating environmental uncertainties and system degradations during harsh conditions. However, human experience and onboard intelligence can may help mitigate such cases. Unfortunately, human operators have cognition limits when directly supervising multiple UGVs. Ideally, an automated decision aid can be designed that empowers the human operator to supervise the UGVs. In this paper, we consider a connected UGV platoon under cyber attacks that may disrupt safety and degrade performance. An observer-based resilient control strategy is designed to mitigate the effects of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) cyber attacks. In addition, each UGV generates both internal and external evaluations based on the platoons performance metrics. A cloud-based trust-based information management system collects these evaluations to detect abnormal UGV platoon behaviors.
Technical Paper

Modeling the Effect of Thermal Barrier Coatings on HCCI Engine Combustion Using CFD Simulations with Conjugate Heat Transfer

2019-04-02
2019-01-0956
Thermal barrier coatings with low conductivity and low heat capacity have been shown to improve the performance of homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) engines. These coatings improve the combustion process by reducing heat transfer during the hot portion of the engine cycle without the penalty thicker coatings typically have on volumetric efficiency. Computational fluid dynamic simulations with conjugate heat transfer between the in-cylinder fluid and solid piston of a single cylinder HCCI engine with exhaust valve rebreathing are carried out to further understand the impacts of these coatings on the combustion process. For the HCCI engine studied with exhaust valve rebreathing, it is shown that simulations needed to be run for multiple engine cycles for the results to converge given how sensitive the rebreathing process is to the residual gas state.
Technical Paper

Detection of Presence and Posture of Vehicle Occupants Using a Capacitance Sensing Mat

2019-04-02
2019-01-1232
Capacitance sensing is the technology that detects the presence of nearby objects by measuring the change in capacitance. A change in capacitance is triggered either by a change in dielectric constant, area of overlap or distance of separation between the electrodes of the capacitor. It is a technology that finds wide use in applications such as touch screens, proximity sensing etc. Drawing motivation from such applications, this paper investigates how capacitive sensing can be employed to detect the presence and posture of occupants inside vehicles. Compared to existing solutions, the proposed approach is low-cost, easy to deploy and highly efficient. The sensing system consists of a capacitance-sensing mat that is embedded with copper foils and an associated sensing circuitry. Inside the mat the foils are arranged in rows and columns to form several touch-nodes across the surface of the mat.
Technical Paper

A Look-Ahead Model Predictive Optimal Control Strategy of a Waste Heat Recovery-Organic Rankine Cycle for Automotive Application

2019-04-02
2019-01-1130
The Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) has proven to be a promising technology for Waste Heat Recovery (WHR) systems in heavy duty diesel engine applications. However, due to the highly transient heat source, controlling the working fluid flow through the ORC system is a challenge for real time application. With advanced knowledge of the heat source dynamics, there is potential to enhance power optimization from the WHR system through predictive optimal control. This paper proposes a look-ahead control strategy to explore the potential of increased power recovery from a simulated WHR system. In the look-ahead control, the future vehicle speed is predicted utilizing road topography and V2V connectivity. The forecasted vehicle speed is utilized to predict the engine speed and torque, which facilitates estimation of the engine exhaust conditions used in the ORC control model.
Technical Paper

Use of Cellphones as Alternative Driver Inputs in Passenger Vehicles

2019-04-02
2019-01-1239
Automotive drive-by-wire systems have enabled greater mobility options for individuals with physical disabilities. To further expand the driving paradigm, a need exists to consider an alternative vehicle steering mechanism to meet specific needs and constraints. In this study, a cellphone steering controller was investigated using a fixed-base driving simulator. The cellphone incorporated the direction control of the vehicle through roll motion, as well as the brake and throttle functionality through pitch motion, a design that can assist disabled drivers by excluding extensive arm and leg movements. Human test subjects evaluated the cellphone with conventional vehicle control strategy through a series of roadway maneuvers. Specifically, two distinctive driving situations were studied: a) obstacle avoidance test, and b) city road traveling test. A conventional steering wheel with self-centering force feedback tuning was used for all the driving events for comparison.
Technical Paper

A Heuristic Supervisory Controller for a 48V Hybrid Electric Vehicle Considering Fuel Economy and Battery Aging

2019-01-15
2019-01-0079
Most studies on supervisory controllers of hybrid electric vehicles consider only fuel economy in the objective function. Taking into consideration the importance of the energy storage system health and its impact on the vehicle’s functionality, cost, and warranty, recent studies have included battery degradation as the second objective function by proposing different energy management strategies and battery life estimation methods. In this paper, a rule-based supervisory controller is proposed that splits the torque demand based not only on fuel consumption, but also on the battery capacity fade using the concept of severity factor. For this aim, the severity factor is calculated at each time step of a driving cycle using a look-up table with three different inputs including c-rate, working temperature, and state of charge of the battery. The capacity loss of the battery is then calculated using a semi-empirical capacity fade model.
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