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Technical Paper

The Consequences of Average Curve Generation: Implications for Biomechanics Data

One method of understanding the general mechanical response of a complex system such as a vehicle, a human surrogate, a bridge, a boat, a plane, etc., is to subject it to an input, such as an impact, and obtain the response time-histories. The responses can be accelerations, velocities, strains, etc. In general, when experiments of this type are run the responses are contaminated by sample-to-sample variation, test-to-test variability, random noise, instrumentation noise, and noise from unknown sources. One common method of addressing the noise in the system to obtain the underlying response is to run multiple tests on different samples that represent the same system and add them together obtaining an average. This functionally reduces the random noise. However, if the fundamental response of each sample is not the same, then it is not altogether clear what the average represents. It may not capture the underlying physics.
Journal Article

Forward Collision Warning Timing in Near Term Applications

Forward Collision Warning (FCW) is a system intended to warn the driver in order to reduce the number of rear end collisions or reduce the severity of collisions. However, it has the potential to generate driver annoyances and unintended consequences due to high ineffectual (false or unnecessary) alarms with a corresponding reduction in the total system effectiveness. The ineffectual alarm rate is known to be closely associated with the “time to issue warning.” This results in a conflicting set of requirements. The earlier the time the warning is issued, the greater probability of reducing the severity of the impact or eliminating it. However, with an earlier warning time there is a greater chance of ineffectual warning, which could result in significant annoyance, frequent complaints and the driver's disengagement of the FCW. Disengaging the FCW eliminates its potential benefits.
Journal Article

Idealized Vehicle Crash Test Pulses for Advanced Batteries

This paper reports a study undertaken by the Crash Safety Working Group (CSWG) of the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR) to determine generic acceleration pulses for testing and evaluating advanced batteries subjected to inertial loading for application in electric passenger vehicles. These pulses were based on characterizing vehicle acceleration time histories from standard laboratory vehicle crash tests. Crash tested passenger vehicles in the United States vehicle fleet of the model years 2005-2009 were used in this study. Crash test data, in terms of acceleration time histories, were collected from various crash modes conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) during their New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) and Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) evaluations, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Journal Article

Statistical Considerations for Evaluating Biofidelity, Repeatability, and Reproducibility of ATDs

Reliable testing of a mechanical system requires the procedures used for the evaluation to be repeatable and reproducible. However, it is never possible to exactly repeat or reproduce the tests that are used for evaluation. To overcome this limitation, a statistical evaluation procedure can generally be used. However, most of the statistical procedures use scalar values as input without the ability to handle vectors or time-histories. To overcome these limitations, two numerical/statistical methods for determining if the impact time-history response of a mechanical system is repeatable or reproducible are evaluated and elaborated upon. Such a system could be a vehicle, a biological human surrogate, an Anthropometric Test Device (ATD or dummy), etc. The responses could be sets of time-histories of accelerations, forces, moments, etc., of a component or of the system. The example system evaluated is the BioRID II rear impact dummy.
Journal Article

What's Speed Got To Do With It?

The statistical analysis of vehicle crash accident data is generally problematic. Data from commonly used sources is almost never without error and complete. Consequently, many analyses are contaminated with modeling and system identification errors. In some cases the effect of influential factors such as crash severity (the most significant component being speed) driver behavior prior to the crash, etc. on vehicle and occupant outcome is not adequately addressed. The speed that the vehicle is traveling at the initiation of a crash is a significant contributor to occupant risk. Not incorporating it may make an accident analysis irrelevant; however, despite its importance this information is not included in many of the commonly used crash data bases, such as the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). Missing speed information can result in potential errors propagating throughout the analysis, unless a method is developed to account for the missing information.