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Technical Paper

Industry and Academic Relations - Engineering Education and the Future of the Engineering Workforce

With the current increase in concern and awareness regarding sustainability and energy, a new focus has been placed on the field of engineering. In this realm of focus, how to educate engineers, more specifically how to continually educate engineers to keep up with technology and the changing workforce has become a very important topic of interest. There exists a gap between graduate studies and professional implementation of technology which the Energy Systems Engineering [ESE] program currently in deployment and development between the University of Michigan and General Motors seeks to address. This work outlines current efforts in encouraging new engineers to enter the field, but focuses primarily on continuing and re-educating the workforce to meet the needs of new technologies. Examples of academic-industry cooperation will be discussed, with some focus on the benefit and experience of the student.
Technical Paper

A Response Surface Based Tool for Evaluating Vehicle Performance in the Pedestrian Leg Impact Test

An interactive tool for predicting the performance of vehicle designs in the pedestrian leg impact test has been developed. This tool allows users to modify the design of a vehicle front structure through the use of a graphical interface, and then evaluates the performance of the design with a response surface. This performance is displayed in the graphical interface, providing the user with nearly instantaneous feedback to his design changes. An example is shown that demonstrates how the tool can be used to help guide the user towards vehicle designs that are likely to improve performance. As part of the development of this tool, a simplified, parametric finite element model of the front structure of the vehicle was created. This vehicle model included eleven parameters that could be adjusted to change the structural dimensions and structural behavior of the model.
Technical Paper

Brake Response Time Measurement for a HIL Vehicle Dynamics Simulator

Vehicle dynamics simulation with Hardware In the Loop (HIL) has been demonstrated to reduce development and validation time for dynamic control systems. For dynamic control systems such as Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC), an accurate vehicle dynamics performance simulation system requires the Electronic Brake Control Module (EBCM) coupled with the vehicles brake system hardware. This kind of HIL simulation-specific software tool can further increase efficiency by means of automation and optimization of the development and validation process. This paper presents a method for HIL vehicle dynamics simulator optimization through Brake Response Time (BRT) correlation. The paper discusses the differences between the physical vehicle and the HIL vehicle dynamics simulator. The differences between the physical and virtual systems are used as factors in the development of a Design Of Experiment (DOE) quantifying HIL simulator performance.
Technical Paper

Modeling of Human Response From Vehicle Performance Characteristics Using Artificial Neural Networks

This study investigates a methodology in which the general public's subjective interpretation of vehicle handling and performance can be predicted. Several vehicle handling measurements were acquired, and associated metrics calculated, in a controlled setting. Human evaluators were then asked to drive and evaluate each vehicle in a winter driving school setting. Using the acquired data, multiple linear regression and artificial neural network (ANN) techniques were used to create and refine mathematical models of human subjective responses. It is shown that artificial neural networks, which have been trained with the sets of objective and subjective data, are both more accurate and more robust than multiple linear regression models created from the same data.
Technical Paper

Effectiveness of Workload-Based Drowsy Driving Countermeasures

This study evaluated the effectiveness of alternative workload-based interventions intended to restore driver alertness following drowsy episodes. Unlike traditional drowsy driving studies, this experiment did not target sleep-deprived individuals, but rather studied normally rested drivers under the assumption that low-workload environments could trigger drowsy driving episodes. The study served as a proof of concept for varying the nature and onset of countermeasure interventions intended to disrupt the drowsiness cycle. Interventions to combat drowsiness attempted to target driver workload, either physical or cognitive, and included two primary treatment conditions: 1) physical workload to increase driver steering demands and 2) trivia-based interactive games to mentally challenge drivers. A benchmark comparison condition using music was also investigated to contrast the relative influence of workload-based interventions with passive listening to musical arrangements.