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Technical Paper

Automated Vehicle Disengagement Reaction Time Compared to Human Brake Reaction Time in Both Automobile and Motorcycle Operation

Autonomous Vehicle Disengagement Reports have been published by the California Department of Motor Vehicles since 2015. The State of California autonomous vehicle testing regulations require every manufacturer authorized to test autonomous vehicles on public roads to submit an annual report summarizing disengagements. In early versions of the annual report, automated vehicle manufacturers were required to provide the time that it took for a human driver to take manual control of the vehicle when reporting vehicle disengagements. This study analyzes reported automated vehicle disengagement reaction times from 2015 through 2017 for various manufacturers that provided information to the California Department of Motor Vehicles while operating vehicles in autonomous mode. This study compares the reported automated vehicle operation disengagement reaction time to field literature in testing and experimentation on human brake reaction times for both automobile and motorcycle operation.
Journal Article

Design Challenges in the Development of a Large Vehicle Inertial Measurement System

The (Vehicle Inertia Parameter Evaluation Rig) VIPER II is a full vehicle mass and inertia parameter measurement machine. The VIPER II expands upon the capabilities of its predecessor and is capable of measuring vehicles with a mass of up to 45,360 kg (100,000 lb), an increase in capacity of 18,100 kg (40,000 lb). The VIPER II also exceeds its predecessor in both the length and width of vehicles it can measure. The VIPER II's maximum vehicle width is 381 cm (150 in) an increase of 76 cm (30 in) and maximum distance from the vehicle CG to the outer most axle is 648 cm (255 in) an additional 152 cm (60 in) The VIPER II is capable of performing measurements including vehicle CG height, pitch, roll, and yaw moments of inertia and the roll/yaw cross product of inertia. While being able to measure both heavier and larger vehicles, the VIPER II is designed to maintain a maximum error of 3% for all inertia measurements and 1% for CG height.
Technical Paper

Measured Vehicle Center-of-Gravity Locations - Including NHTSA's Data Through 2008 NCAP

This paper is a printed listing of public domain vehicle center-of-gravity (CG) location measurements conducted on behalf of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This paper is an extension of the 1999 SAE paper titled “Measured Vehicle Inertia Parameters - NHTSA's Data Through November 1998” ( 1 ). The previous paper contained data for 496 vehicles. This paper includes data for 528 additional vehicles tested as part of NHTSA's New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) for year 2001 through year 2008 ( 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 ). The previous data included center-of-gravity location and mass moments-of-inertia for nearly all of the entries. The NCAP involves only the CG location measurements; so the vehicles listed in this paper do not have inertia data. This paper provides a brief discussion of the entries provided in the tabular listings as well as the accuracy of CG height measurements.
Technical Paper

Repeatability and Bias Study on the Vehicle Inertia Measurement Facility (VIMF)

Representative vehicle inertial characteristics are important parameters for the development of motor vehicles and the proper operation of on-board systems. The Vehicle Inertia Measurement Facility (VIMF) measures vehicle center of gravity location, principal moments of inertia, and the roll/yaw product of inertia. It is important to understand the VIMF’s accuracy and repeatability, as well as the underlying methodology and assumptions, when performing tests or using the results of the test. This study reports on a repeatability analysis performed at the lower and upper limits of the VIMF. Each test performed is a complete drive-on/drive-off test. The test sequence involves the repeatability evaluation of several different machine configurations. Ten complete tests are performed for each vehicle. To better address the possibility of measurement bias, the design and verification of a calibration fixture for inertial characteristics is presented.
Journal Article

Design and Operation of a Brake and Throttle Robot

This paper describes the design and implementation of the SEA, Ltd. Brake and Throttle Robot (BTR). Presented are the criteria used in the initial design and the development and testing of the BTR, as well as some test results achieved with the device. The BTR is designed for use in automobiles and light trucks. It is based on a servomotor driven ballscrew, which in turn operates either the brake or accelerator. It is easily portable from one vehicle to another and compact enough to fit even smaller vehicles. The BTR is light enough so as to have minimal effect on the measurement of vehicle parameters. The BTR is designed for use as a stand-alone unit or as part of a larger control system such as the Automated Test Driver (ATD) yet allows for the use of a test driver for safety, as well as test selection, initiation, and monitoring. Installation in a vehicle will be described, as well as electronic components that support the BTR.
Technical Paper

Automated Steering Controller for Vehicle Testing

Automating road vehicle control can increase the range and reliability of dynamic testing. Some tests, for instance, specify precise steering inputs which human test drivers are only able to approximate, adding uncertainty to the test results. An automated steering system has been developed which is capable of removing these limitations. This system enables any production car or light truck to follow a user-defined path, using global position feedback, or to perform specific steering sequences with excellent repeatability. The system adapts itself to a given vehicle s handling characteristics, and it can be installed and uninstalled quickly without damage or permanent modification to the vehicle.
Technical Paper

An Analysis of Yaw Inducing Drag Forces Imparted During Tire Tread Belt Detachments

In this study, tests were performed to understand the effects of asymmetric longitudinal forces on vehicle response which may be created in certain staged partial tire tread belt detachment tests. In a very small number of tests performed by others, tires cut to simulate partial tire tread belt detachments created longitudinal drag forces at the separating tire that induced substantial vehicle yaw. This drag force and yaw response are independent of vehicle type and suspension type; they are created by the separating tire tread interacting with the road surface and / or vehicle. Similar yaw inducing drag forces are further demonstrated by applying braking to only the right rear wheel location of an instrumented test vehicle. It is shown that vehicle yaw response results from this longitudinal force as opposed to vertical axle motion.
Technical Paper

Automotive Restraint Loading Evidence for Moderate Speed Impacts and a Variety of Restraint Conditions

One of the principal tools used by the accident reconstructionist to determine whether a vehicle occupant was properly restrained when an accident occurred is the examination and analysis of impact evidence and damage to interior structures of the vehicle. Careful analysis of such evidence not only assists in the determination of restraint usage, but can also provide insight into the pre-impact position of the occupant. However, the multi-faceted restraint systems and advanced materials used in modern vehicles can make the interpretation of vehicle interior damage difficult. This is especially true for impacts of mild or moderate severity, when interior damage may or may not be expected to occur, and the lack of any identifiable damage can be misinterpreted. In this paper, the restraint system damage resulting from a series of sled tests conducted at a range of mild to moderate impact severities with a normally positioned driver under various restraint conditions is discussed.
Technical Paper

Vehicle Characterization Through Pole Impact Testing, Part II: Analysis of Center and Offset Center Impacts

The severity of an impact in terms of the acceleration in the occupant compartment is dependent not only on the change in vehicle velocity, but also the time for the change in velocity to occur. These depend on the geometry and stiffness of both the striking vehicle and struck object. In narrow-object frontal impacts, impact location can affect the shape and duration of the acceleration pulse that reaches the occupant compartment. In this paper, the frontal impact response of a full-sized pickup to 10 mile per hour and 20 mile per hour pole impacts at the centerline and at a location nearer the frame rails is compared using the acceleration pulse shape, the average acceleration in the occupant compartment, and the residual crush. A bilinear curve relating impact speed to residual crush is developed.
Technical Paper

Development of a Computer Controlled Automated Steering Controller

This paper describes the design and development of the hardware, electronics, and software components of a state-of-the-art automated steering controller, the SEA, Ltd. ASC. The function of the ASC is to input to a vehicle virtually any steering profile with both high accuracy and repeatability. The ASC is designed to input profiles having steering rates and timing that are in excess of the limits of a human driver. The ASC software allows the user to specify steering profiles and select controller settings, including motor controller gains, through user-interface windows. This makes it possible for the test driver to change steering profiles and settings immediately after running any test maneuver. The motor controller used in the ASC offers self-contained signal input, output, and data storage capabilities. Thus, the ASC can operate as a standalone steering machine or it can be incorporated into typical existing, on-vehicle data acquisition systems.
Technical Paper

Inertia Measurements of Large Military Vehicles

This paper describes the design and operation of a facility for measuring vehicle center-of-gravity height; roll, pitch, and yaw moments of inertia; and roll/yaw cross product of inertia for a broad range of test specimens. The facility is configurable such that it is capable of measuring these properties for light, single axle trailers; long, heavy vehicles; and tank turrets. The design was driven by the need for accurate, repeatable measurement results and the desire to have a single facility capable of making measurements on a broad range of vehicle sizes.
Technical Paper

Effects of Loading on Vehicle Handling

This paper explores the effects of changes in vehicle loading on vehicle inertial properties (center-of-gravity location and moments of inertia values) and handling responses. The motivation for the work is to gain better understanding of the importance vehicle loading has in regard to vehicle safety. A computer simulation is used to predict the understeer changes for three different vehicles under three loading conditions. An extension of this loading study includes the effects of moving occupants, which are modeled for inclusion in the simulation. A two-mass model for occupants/cargo, with lateral translational and rotational degrees of freedom, has been developed and is included in the full vehicle model. Using the simulation, the effects that moving occupants have on vehicle dynamics are studied.
Technical Paper

Sprung/Unsprung Mass Properties Determination without Vehicle Diassembly

This paper presents a method of measuring a vehicle's sprung mass without vehicle disassembly. The method involves measuring whole vehicle properties at different trim heights. The accuracy of the method is tested using results for several vehicles. As an extension of the sprung mass determination, this paper also demonstrates the feasibility of determining the inertial properties of a vehicle's sprung mass without vehicle disassembly. Lastly, measured vehicle roll/yaw product of inertia values are presented for a selection of vehicles.
Technical Paper

A Study of Vehicle Class Segregation Using Linear Handling Models

The handling, stability, and rollover resistance of vehicles is presently being studied by both the automotive industry and the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). However, to study the handling and rollover behavior of each vehicle on the road is not feasible. The ability to categorize and compare the rollover and handling behavior of various vehicles is a subject of considerable research interest. This paper examines the possibility of characterizing vehicle classes through the use of a three degree-of-freedom linear model. Initially, segregation is studied by evaluating the eigenvalue location in the complex domain for vehicle sideslip velocity, yaw rate, and roll angle. Then the influence of numerator dynamics on vehicle behavior is studied and vehicle class segregation is attempted through evaluation of the amplitude ratio of the frequency responses for sideslip velocity, yaw rate, and roll angle.
Technical Paper

The Design of a Vehicle Inertia Measurement Facility

This paper describes the design of a vehicle inertia measurement facility (VIMF): a facility used to measure vehicle center of gravity position; vehicle roll, pitch, and yaw mass moments of inertia; and vehicle roll/yaw mass product of inertia. The rationale for general design decisions and the methods used to arrive at the decisions are discussed. The design is inspired by the desire to have minimal measurement error and short test time. The design was guided by analytical error analyses of the contributions of individual system errors to the overall measurement error. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) database of center of gravity position and mass moment of inertia data for over 300 vehicles was used in conjunction with the error analyses to design various VIMF components, such as the roll and yaw spring sizes.
Technical Paper

Developments in Vehicle Center of Gravity and Inertial Parameter Estimation and Measurement

For some vehicle dynamics applications, an estimate of a vehicle's center of gravity (cg) height and mass moments of inertia can suffice. For other applications, such as vehicle models and simulations used for vehicle development, these values should be as accurate as possible. This paper presents several topics related to inertial parameter estimation and measurement. The first is a simple but reliable method of estimating vehicle mass moment of inertia values from data such as the center of gravity height, roof height, track width, and other easily measurable values of any light road vehicle. The second is an error analysis showing the effect, during a simple static cg height test, of vehicle motion (relative to the support system) on the vehicle's calculated cg height. A method of accounting for this motion is presented. Similarly, the effects of vehicle motion are analyzed for subsequent mass moment of inertia tests.