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Technical Paper

Kinematic FCW System Modeling and Application for FCW Warning Strategy Evaluation

One method of reducing the number and/or severity of vehicle crashes is to warn the driver of a potential crash. The theory is that there will be driving conditions in which the drivers are unaware of a potential crash and a warning system will allow them to, in some manner, avoid the accident or reduce the severity. In an attempt to develop an analytical understanding of Forward Collision Warning systems (FCW) for frontal impacts a 2-d mathematical/kinematic model representing a set of pre-crash vehicle dynamic maneuvers has been built. Different driving scenarios are studied to explore the potential improvement of warning algorithms in terms of headway reduction and minimization of false alarm rates. The results agree with the field data. NHTSA's new NCAP active safety criteria are evaluated using the model. The result from the analysis indicates that the NHTSA criteria may drive higher false alarm rates. Opportunities of minimizing false positive rates are discussed.
Journal Article

Effects of Vehicle Mass and Other Parameters on Driver Relative Fatality Risk in Vehicle-Vehicle Crashes

Regression models are used to understand the relative fatality risk for drivers in front-front and front-left crashes. The field accident data used for the regressions were extracted by NHTSA from the FARS database for model years 2000-2007 vehicles in calendar years 2002-2008. Multiple logistic regressions are structured and carried out to model a log-linear relationship between risk ratio and the independent vehicle and driver parameters. For front-front crashes, the regression identifies mass ratio, belt use, and driver age as statistically significant parameters (p-values less than 1%) associated with the risk ratio. The vehicle type and presence of the ESC are found to be related with less statistical significance (p-values between 1% and 5%). For front-left crashes the driver risk ratio is also found to have a log-log linear relationship with vehicle mass ratio.
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

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.