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Technical Paper

Estimation of Road Configuration and Vehicle Attitude by Lane Detection for a Lane-Keeping System

This paper describes an image processing system for tracking a traffic lane by recognizing white lines on the road ahead. The system utilizes the features of the white lines and the Hough transformation to detect white line candidate points in images taken with a CCD camera. The parameters of the road configuration and vehicle attitude are estimated with an extended Kalman filter. This system has been applied to achieve a lane-keeping assistance system that provides steering control based on the host vehicle’s lateral position in its lane.
Technical Paper

Effects of Swirl/Tumble Motion on In-Cylinder Mixture Formation in a Lean-Burn Engine

Flow measurement by laser Doppler velocimetry and visualization of in-cylinder fuel vapor motion by laser induced fluorescence were performed for various types of intake systems that generated several different combinations of swirl and tumble ratios. The measured results indicate that certain swirl and tumble ratios are needed to achieve charge stratification in the cylinder. Performance tests were also carried out to determine the combustion characteristics of each intake system. Then, the features of combustion when the charge stratification was realized was analyzed.
Technical Paper

Liquid Fuel Visualization Using Laser-Induced Fluoresence During Cold Start

The presence of liquid fuel inside the engine cylinder is believed to be a strong contributor to the high levels of hydrocarbon emissions from spark ignition (SI) engines during the warm-up period. Quantifying and determining the fate of the liquid fuel that enters the cylinder is the first step in understanding the process of emissions formation. This work uses planar laser induced fluorescence (PLIF) to visualize the liquid fuel present in the cylinder. The fluorescing compounds in indolene, and mixtures of iso-octane with dopants of different boiling points (acetone and 3-pentanone) were used to trace the behavior of different volatility components. Images were taken of three different planes through the engine intersecting the intake valve region. A closed valve fuel injection strategy was used, as this is the strategy most commonly used in practice. Background subtraction and masking were both performed to reduce the effect of any spurious fluorescence.
Technical Paper

3D Vortex Simulation of Intake Flow in a Port-Cylinder with a Valve Seat and a Moving Piston

A Lagrangian random vortex-boundary element method has been developed for the simulation of unsteady incompressible flow inside three-dimensional domains with time-dependent boundaries, similar to IC engines. The solution method is entirely grid-free in the fluid domain and eliminates the difficult task of volumetric meshing of the complex engine geometry. Furthermore, due to the Lagrangian evaluation of the convective processes, numerical viscosity is virtually removed; thus permitting the direct simulation of flow at high Reynolds numbers. In this paper, a brief description of the numerical methodology is given, followed by an example of induction flow in an off-centered port-cylinder assembly with a harmonically driven piston and a valve seat situated directly below the port. The predicted flow is shown to resemble the flow visualization results of a laboratory experiment, despite the crude approximation used to represent the geometry.
Technical Paper

Engine-Out “Dry” Particular Matter Emissions from SI Engines

The Engine-Out Particulate Matter (EOPM) was collected from a spark ignition engine operating in steady state using a heated quartz fiber filter. The samples were weighted to obtain an EOPMindex and were analyzed using Scanning Electron Microscopy. The EOP Mindex was not sensitive to the engine rpm and load. When the mixture is very rich (air equivalence ratio λ less than ∼ 0.7), the EOPM comprise mostly of soot particles from fuel combustion. In the lean to slightly rich region (0.8 < λ < 1.2), however, the EOPM are dominated by particles derived from the lubrication oil.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Road Recognition Using Ar-Model

This paper describes an image processing method for recognizing white lines on the road ahead to accomplish automatic lane tracking. The behavior of detected points on the white lines can be regarded as multi-channel time-series data. The stochastic behavior of each point correlates with not only its own past behavior but also the behavior of other points around it. Behavior is identified by using a multi-variable auto-regressive (AR) model. This method can estimate the road configuration ahead logically even if the points cannot be detected clearly because a line is discontinuous or is hidden by a forward vehicle.
Technical Paper

Development of a New Compound Fuel and Fluorescent Tracer Combination for Use with Laser Induced Fluorescence

Laser induced fluorescence (LIF) is a useful method for visualizing the distribution of the air-fuel ratio in the combustion chamber. The way this method is applied mainly depends on the fluorescent tracer used, such as biacetyl, toluene, various aldehydes, fluoranthene or diethylketone, among others. Gasoline strongly absorbs light in the UV region, for example, at the 248-nm wavelength of broadband KrF excimer laser radiation. Therefore, when using this type of laser, iso-octane is employed as the fuel because it is transparent to 248-nm UV light. However, since the distillation curves of iso-octane and gasoline are different, it can be expected that their vaporization characteristics in the intake port and cylinder would also be different. The aim of this study was to find a better fuel for use with LIF at a broadband wavelength of 248 nm. Three tasks were undertaken in this study.
Technical Paper

Visualization of Mixture Preparation in a Port-Fuel Injection Engine During Engine Warm-up

The fuel injection process in the port of a firing 4-valve SI engine at part load and 25°C head temperature was observed by a high speed video camera. Fuel was injected when the valve was closed. The reverse blow-down flow when the intake valve opens has been identified as an important factor in the mixture preparation process because it not only alters the thermal environment of the intake port, but also strip-atomizes the liquid film at the vicinity of the intake valve and carries the droplets away from the engine. In a series of “fuel-on” experiments, the fuel injected in the current cycle was observed to influence the fuel delivery to the engine in the subsequent cycles.
Technical Paper

The Application of Image Processing to Laser Displacement and Strain Analysis

New image processing procedures for speckle photography and holographic interferometry are described. The algorithm for speckle photography measures the displacement value and direction automatically within the accuracy of ±5% over a range of 10 µm to 150 µm. This algorithm has adopted the Maximum Entropy Method to measure fringe intervals with high accuracy. The algorithm for holographic interferometry detects the fringe line and determines the displacement distribution with an operator's assist. Through the experiments, it was shown that these procedures are effective and accurate for vibration and deformation analysis.
Technical Paper

Development of Laser-Textured Dull Steel Sheets with Superior Press Formability

Surface roughness of steel sheet for automotive use is one of the most important control items, because the surface roughness influences image clarity of painted surface, press formability and easiness in handling during manufacturing and processing of steel sheets. Laser texturing technology is introduced into a roll finishing process of cold rolling, and new type of regular surface roughness profile can be processed on the surface of steel sheets. Effective application method of this technology is investigated at the present day. In Japan, Laser-textured dull steel sheets are used for outer-panels of automotive body as the first application. And image clarity after painting of outer panels has been successful in improving. Nowadays, Laser texturing technology is actually used for manufacturing the high image clarity steel sheets, and they are manufactured in large quantities. Another application of Laser texturing technology is for the inner parts which require pressformability.
Technical Paper

Airflow Measurement Around Passenger Car Models Using a Two-Channel Laser Doppler Velocimeter

A two-channel LDV system is used to obtain accurate airflow measurements around scale models of passenger cars in wind tunnel tests at the Nissan Research Center. A 2-watt argon-ion laser is employed as the light source. The main optical unit and probe head are connected by optical fibers. The probe head consists of a compact LDV probe with a beam expander and focusing lens with a long focal length can be easily traversed. A new type of signal processor, performing a digital autocorrelation function, is employed to process the Doppler signals. Mean airflow velocities and turbulence intensities are calculated by a micro computer to evaluate the flow fields. The results of preliminary experiments conducted with this system indicate that the system is not only capable of measuring the mean velocity components, including reverse flow, it can also provide accurate estimation of turbulence components.
Technical Paper

Optimization of the Heat Flow Distribution in the Engine Compartment

The use of higher output engines and more auxiliary units is resulting in greater heat generation in the engine compartment. At the same time, design trends and demands for improved aerodynamic performance are diminishing the cooling air flow rate. These two sets of factors are making the thermal environment in the engine compartment more severe. In this work, heat flow in the engine compartment was investigated by numerical analysis and flow visualization, and flow control devices were devised for optimizing the temperature distribution. This paper discusses the heat flow optimization techniques and presents the results obtained in experiments with an actual vehicle.
Technical Paper

A Study of Laser Radar

Various radar systems have been proposed as collision avoidance sensors for automatic braking and warning applications. Practical use of laser radar systems is near with the introduction of high power, high reliability laser diodes. Utilizing these new devices, a laser radar system has been adapted for measuring the distance to objects in its path. It was first shown that reflectors on the rear of the automobile possess high reflectivity and sharp directivity. Given these characteristics, a compact laser radar system was tested that employed 12W laser diodes and PIN photodiodes. The maximum range of approximately 100 m was obtained. Furthermore, the ability to discriminate other vehicles from roadside objects was achieved by detecting discontinuity in measured distance data through a microprocessor. These results show that the performance of laser radar is comparable to that of microwave radar.
Technical Paper

Crank-angle-resolved Measurements of Air-fuel Ratio, Temperature, and Liquid Fuel Droplet Scattering in a Direct-injection Gasoline Engine

Simultaneous crank-angle-resolved measurements of gasoline vapor concentration, gas temperature, and liquid fuel droplet scattering were made with three-color infrared absorption in a direct-injection spark-ignition engine with premium gasoline. The infrared light was coupled into and out of the cylinder using fiber optics incorporated into a modified spark plug, allowing measurement at a location adjacent to the spark plug electrode. Two mid-infrared (mid-IR) laser wavelengths were simultaneously produced by difference-frequency-generation in periodically poled lithium niobate (PPLN) using one signal and two pump lasers operating in the near-infrared (near-IR). A portion of the near-IR signal laser residual provided a simultaneous third, non-resonant, wavelength for liquid droplet detection. This non-resonant signal was used to subtract the influence of droplet scattering from the resonant mid-IR signals to obtain vapor absorption signals in the presence of droplet extinction.
Technical Paper

Improvement of Ease of Viewing Images on an In-vehicle Display and Reduction of Carsickness

A method has been developed for improving the ease of viewing images on an in-vehicle display while a vehicle is moving and reducing carsickness. An attempt was made to mitigate carsickness by reducing sensory conflict by controlling the position of displayed images in synchronization with vehicle motions and passenger head motions produced by vehicle acceleration / deceleration forces. In the case of moving images, experimental results showed that, in addition to image position control, providing visual clues for distinguishing between the motions of the images themselves and the control motions can effectively reduce carsickness. The results further indicated that this method of controlling the position of displayed images is also effective in improving the ease of viewing images in a moving vehicle.
Technical Paper

An EVA Mission Planning Tool based on Metabolic Cost Optimization

An extravehicular activity (EVA) path-planning and navigation tool, called the Mission Planner, has been developed to assist with pre-mission planning, scenario simulation, real-time navigation, and contingency replanning during astronaut EVAs, The Mission Planner calculates the most efficient path between user-specified waypoints. Efficiency is based on an exploration cost algorithm, which is a function of the estimated astronaut metabolic rate. Selection of waypoints and visualization of the generated path are realized within a 3D mapping interface through terrain elevation models. The Mission Planner is also capable of computing the most efficient path back home from any point along the path.
Technical Paper

All Round Blind Spot Detection by Lens Condition Adaptation based on Rearview Camera Images

This paper deals with a vehicle detection method for realizing a blind spot warning function, under various environmental conditions. We introduced a method that is capable of discriminating the target object vehicles, under poor lighting conditions and in cases where the lens may be exposed to splashes in wet, snow and dirt roads. The image sensing of the vehicle detection consists of four functional components: obstacle detection, velocity estimation, vertical edge detection, and final classification. Such componets allow robust performances resembling geometry based approaches, with low calculation power as an apperance based approach. This paper describes the functional components, and furthermore methods to enhance the performances under low contrast conditions and also suppress false detections caused by residue on the lens, which becomes essential for installation on vehicles driven in actual road conditions.
Technical Paper

An Exploratory Study of the Driver Workload Assessment by Brain Functional Imaging Using Onboard fNIRS

In making driver workload assessments, it is important to evaluate the driver's level of brain activity because the operation of a motor vehicle presumably involves higher-order brain functions. Driving on narrow roads in particular probably imposes a load on the driver's brain functions because of the need to be cognizant of the tight space and to pay close attention to the surroundings. Test vehicles were fitted with a functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) system for measuring bloodstream concentrations at 32 locations in the frontal lobe of the participating drivers in order to evaluate their levels of mental activity while driving on narrow roads. The results revealed significant increases in cerebral blood flow corresponding to the perceived workload. This suggests that increases in cerebral blood flow can be used as an effective index for estimating mental workloads.
Technical Paper

Thermal Imaging Technology using a Thermoelectric Infrared Sensor

This paper describes a low-cost 48 × 48 element thermal imaging camera intended for use in measuring the temperature in a car interior for advanced air conditioning systems. The compact camera measures 46 × 46 × 60 mm. It operates under a program stored in the central processing unit and can measure the interior temperature distribution with an accuracy of ±0.7°C in range from 0 to 40°C. The camera includes a thermoelectric focal plane array (FPA) housed in a low-cost vacuum-sealed package. The FPA is fabricated with the conventional IC manufacturing process and micromachining technology. The chip is 6.5 × 6.5 mm in size and achieves high sensitivity of 4,300 V/W, which is higher than the performance reported for any other thermopile. This high performance has been achieved by optimizing the sensor's thermal isolation structure and a precisely patterned Au-black absorber that attains high infrared absorptivity of more than 90%.
Technical Paper

High Throughput Computation of Optical Flow with a High Frame-Rate Camera

This paper presents a new method for calculating optical flow using data from a high frame-rate camera. We focused on a feature of image data captured with a high frame-rate camera in which objects do not move more than one pixel between successive frames. This approach eliminates repetitive processing for object identification among frames taken at different sampling times. High-speed processing hardware architecture was designed with sequential processing only, and the algorithm was implemented in a field programmable gate array. The resultant unit can calculate optical flow for a 640×120 pixel size image with a 480-Hz processing cycle and 0.5-μsec processing latency.