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Technical Paper

Development of a Method for Reducing the Driver's Work Load Using a Human Body Model Based on Biomechanisms

A human body model has been developed for conducting personal computer simulations to evaluate physical work loads, especially muscle loads, associated with the driving position and arm and leg motions. The validity of the model was confirmed by comparing estimated work loads with electromyographic measurements. Correlation analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between the estimated loads and subjective evaluations. The results indicated the regions of the body where loads had the largest impact on the perceived sensation of physical effort and were used to derive an index for evaluating the overall work load of the entire body. The simulation method was used to evaluate control switch positions, driving position and vehicle entry/exit motions.
Technical Paper

Development of Side Impact Air Bag System for Head and Chest Protection

Most of the side impact air bag systems in the current market are designed to protect the thorax area only. The new Head and Thorax SRS Side Impact Air Bag system, which Nissan recently introduced into the market, was designed to help provide additional protection for the head in certain side impacts. The system may help protect occupant head contacts when the vehicle collides into a tree, or the high hood of a large striking vehicle. This paper introduces the additional features and function of the new Head and Thorax SRS Side Impact Air Bag system, and some evaluation results in laboratory testing.
Technical Paper

Spacelab Neurovestibular Hardware

A set of devices for measurement of human balance orientation and eye movements in weightlessness was developed for neurovestibular experiments on Spacelab. The experiments involve astronaut motion, limb position changes, and moving visual fields, measurements are made of eye movements, muscular activity and orientation perception. This joint US/Canadian research program represent a group of closely related experiments designed to investigate space motion sickness, any associated changes in otolith-mediated responses occurring during weightlessness, and the continuation of changes to postflight conditions. The otoliths are a component of the vestibular apparatus which is located in the middle ear. It is responsible for maintaining the body's balance. Gravitational pull on the otoliths causes them to constantly appraise the nervous system of the position of the head with respect to the direction of gravity.
Technical Paper

Study of Comfortable Sitting Posture

By nature, the driver's seat should be designed for work, while the passenger's seat should be built for comfort. This means that the functions of the seats are inherently different. Although many studies have been done on the driver's seat, the design and use of the passenger's seat have received little attention. This study examined a comfortable sitting posture in the passenger's seat. The results obtained have led to the development of two new devices. One device makes it possible for the seat cushion to move upward and forward as the seat tilts backward. The other device allows the upper portion of the seat back to tilt forward from the top of the lower seat back. These devices thus function to provide a comfortable sitting posture. This paper describes the new devices and presents the results of an investigation into a comfortable sitting posture for the occupant of the front passenger's seat.
Technical Paper

Automatic Falling Occupant Protecting Net - Preliminary Study

An automatic, falling, occupant-protecting net is being developed for spreading in front of automobile occupants in the time interval between vehicle impact and occupant collision. The device is designed to counteract forward body acceleration and minimize head, neck, and chest injuries. This device was investigated by sled and barrier tests using anthropomorphic dummies. Significant improvements in occupant kinematics and remarkable reduction in head and chest impact force has been observed. Some problems such as whiplash injury await solution but continuing investigation of proposed measures of correction show that they are not insurmountable.
Technical Paper

The Development of Drowsiness Warning Devices

This paper describes a newly developed microcomputer-based drowsiness warning system, which detects changes in the driver's alertness through his steering behavior. In developing this system, we first quantified several levels of alertness based on such physiological factors as brain activity and blinking. Tests were then conducted in which drivers fell into different degrees of drowsiness. Using the quantified alertness levels, we defined the “drowsy driver” and found unique steering patterns that could not be seen in normal driving. These patterns were entered into the memory unit of the microcomputer. When the sensor built into the steering wheel detects a drowsy steering pattern, the microcomputer recognizes the driver's drowsiness and activates a buzzer to warn the driver. In this paper, the process of determining the alertness levels is explained, along with the steering characteristics of the drowsy driver.
Technical Paper

Appling CAE to Understand the Causality of Dummy Neck Injury Readings

The progress of computer technology and CAE methodology makes it possible to simulate dummy injury readings in vehicle crash simulations. Dummy neck injuries are generally more difficult to simulate than injuries to other regions such as the head or chest. Accordingly, improving the accuracy of dummy neck injury data is a major concern in frontal occupant safety simulations. This paper describes the use of an advanced airbag modeling methodology to improve the accuracy of dummy neck injury readings. First, the following items incorporated in the advanced airbag model are explained. (1) The Finite Point Method (FPM) is used to simulate the flow of gas. (2) A folding model is applied to simulate the folded condition. (3) The fabric material properties used in the simulation take into account anisotropy in the fiber directions and the nonlinear, hysteresis characteristics of stiffness.
Technical Paper

Anthropometric and Blood Flow Characteristics Leading to EVA Hand Injury

The aim of this study was to explore if fingernail delamination injury following EMU glove use may be caused by compression-induced blood flow occlusion in the finger. During compression tests, finger blood flow decreased more than 60%, however this occurred more rapidly for finger pad compression (4 N) than for fingertips (10 N). A pressure bulb compression test resulted in 50% and 45% decreased blood flow at 100 mmHg and 200 mmHg, respectively. These results indicate that the finger pad pressure required to articulate stiff gloves is more likely to contribute to injury than the fingertip pressure associated with tight fitting gloves.
Technical Paper

Real World Injury Patterns in Narrow Object Frontal Crashes: An Analysis of US Field Data

Analyses were performed using field data for belted drivers of light vehicles in frontal crashes to examine the frequency and severity of frontal crashes with narrow objects. This study examined the distribution of injuries by body region, crash severity, and single- versus multiple-vehicle crashes for narrow object and all other crashes. Factors influencing injuries in different types of frontal crashes were identified, and risk of injury to belted drivers in narrow object crashes versus other frontal crashes was examined. A detailed review of about 400 NASS cases involving narrow object crashes was also performed. Results indicate frontal crashes involving impact with poles, posts, or trees are relatively infrequent. Overall, the fatal risk for belted drivers is lower in narrow object crashes than in other types of frontal crashes.
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

The Anatomy of Knock

The combustion process after auto-ignition is investigated. Depending on the non-uniformity of the end gas, auto-ignition could initiate a flame, produce pressure waves that excite the engine structure (acoustic knock), or result in detonation (normal or developing). For the “acoustic knock” mode, a knock intensity (KI) is defined as the pressure oscillation amplitude. The KI values over different cycles under a fixed operating condition are observed to have a log-normal distribution. When the operating condition is changed (over different values of λ, EGR, and spark timing), the mean (μ) of log (KI/GIMEP) decreases linearly with the correlation-based ignition delay calculated using the knock-point end gas condition of the mean cycle. The standard deviation σ of log(KI/GIMEP) is approximately a constant, at 0.63. The values of μ and σ thus allow a statistical description of knock from the deterministic calculation of the ignition delay using the mean cycle properties
Technical Paper

Observed Differences in Lane Departure Warning Responses during Single-Task and Dual-Task Driving: A Secondary Analysis of Field Driving Data

Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are an increasingly common feature of modern vehicles. The influence of such systems on driver behavior, particularly in regards to the effects of intermittent warning systems, is sparsely studied to date. This paper examines dynamic changes in physiological and operational behavior during lane departure warnings (LDW) in two commercial automotive systems utilizing on-road data. Alerts from the systems, one using auditory and the other haptic LDWs, were monitored during highway driving conditions. LDW events were monitored during periods of single-task driving and dual-task driving. Dual-task periods consisted of the driver interacting with the vehicle’s factory infotainment system or a smartphone to perform secondary visual-manual (e.g., radio tuning, contact dialing, etc.) or auditory-vocal (e.g. destination address entry, contact dialing, etc.) tasks.
Technical Paper

Additional Findings on the Multi-Modal Demands of “Voice-Command” Interfaces

This paper presents the results of a study of how people interacted with a production voice-command based interface while driving on public roadways. Tasks included phone contact calling, full address destination entry, and point-of-interest (POI) selection. Baseline driving and driving while engaging in multiple-levels of an auditory-vocal cognitive reference task and manual radio tuning were used as comparison points. Measures included self-reported workload, task performance, physiological arousal, glance behavior, and vehicle control for an analysis sample of 48 participants (gender balanced across ages 21-68). Task analysis and glance measures confirm earlier findings that voice-command interfaces do not always allow the driver to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road, as some assume.
Technical Paper

A Study for Understanding Carsickness Based on the Sensory Conflict Theory

Two hypotheses based on the sensory conflict theory were postulated as possible means for reducing carsickness: (1) Reducing signals from the vestibular and vision systems through a reduction of low-frequency motion would mitigate carsickness and (2) Controlling stimulation of visual organs so as to reduce the amount of sensory conflict would mitigate carsickness. For hypothesis (1), the relations between subjective carsickness ratings and motions of the vehicle and passengers' body were investigated. Greater correlation was found between carsickness ratings and motions of the passengers' head, where the organs of the vestibular and vision systems are located, than between carsickness ratings and vehicle motions. For hypothesis (2), the incidence of carsickness in passengers who gazed at an in-vehicle display was investigated because there seemed to be large conflict between the vestibular system and the vision system.
Technical Paper

Finite Element Analysis of Hard and Soft Tissue Contributions to Thoracic Response: Sensitivity Analysis of Fluctuations in Boundary Conditions

Thoracic trauma is the principle causative factor in 30% of road traffic deaths. Researchers have developed force-deflection corridors of the thorax for various loading conditions in order to elucidate injury mechanisms and to validate the mechanical response of ATDs and numerical human models. A corridor, rather than a single response characteristic, results from the variability inherent in biological experimentation. This response variability is caused by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The intrinsic factors are associated with individual differences among human subjects, e.g., the differences in material properties and in body geometry. The extrinsic sources of variability include fluctuations in the loading and supporting conditions in experimental tests.
Technical Paper

Modeling the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Space Suit: Physiological Implications for Extravehicular Activity (EVA)

Extravehicular activity (EVA) is investigated through experiments testing an actual extravehicular mobility unit (EMU) performing several EVA tasks in the laboratory, and a dynamic model of the EMU space suit is developed. Building directly on earlier work in EVA simulation, the space suit model was created from mass, inertia, and performance data to augment the unsuited 12-segment human model used in previous studies. A modified Preisach model was used to mathematically describe the hysteretic torque characteristics of joints in a pressurized space suit, and implemented numerically based on observed suit parameters. Computational simulations, based loosely on a 1995 EVA involving manipulation of the Spartan astrophysics payload, were performed to observe the effect of suit constraints on simulated astronaut performance.
Technical Paper

Finite Element Simulation of Ankle/Foot Injury in Frontal Crashes

Finite element models of human body segments have been developed in recent years. Numerical simulation could be helpful when understanding injury mechanisms and to make injury assessments. In the lower leg injury research in NISSAN, a finite element model of the human ankle/foot is under development. The mesh for the bony part was taken from the original model developed by Beaugonin et al., but was revised by adding soft tissue to reproduce realistic responses. Damping effect in a high speed contact was taken into account by modeling skin and fat in the sole of the foot. The plantar aponeurosis tendon was modeled by nonlinear bar elements connecting the phalanges to the calcaneus. The rigid body connection, which was defined at the toe in the original model for simplicity, was removed and the transverse ligaments were added instead in order to bind the metatarsals and the phalanges. These tendons and ligaments were expected to reproduce a realistic response in compression.
Technical Paper

Bio-Suit Development: Viable Options for Mechanical Counter Pressure

Human explorers of planetary surfaces would benefit greatly from a spacesuit design that facilitates locomotion. To aid in the development of such an extravehicular activity suit, a design effort incorporating the concept of mechanical counter pressure (MCP) was undertaken. Three-dimensional laser scanning of the human body was used to identify the main effects of knee flexion angle on the size and shape of the leg. This laser scanning quantified the changes in shape that must be supported by an MCP garment and the tension that must be developed to produce even MCP. Evaluation of a hybrid-MCP concept using inextensible materials demonstrated strong agreement between experimental data and a mathematical model with rigid cylinder geometry. Testing of a form-fitting garment on the right lower leg of a subject demonstrated successful pressure production. Further research is required to evaluate how evenly pressure can be distributed using the hybrid-MCP concept.
Technical Paper

Analyzing the Limitations of the Rider and Electric Motorcycle at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Race

This paper describes a post-race analysis of team KOMMIT EVT’s electric motorcycle data collected during the 2016 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC). The motorcycle consumed approximately 4 kWh of battery energy with an average and maximum speed of 107 km/h and 149 km/h, respectively. It was the second fastest electric motorcycle with a finishing time of 11:10.480. Data was logged of the motorcycle’s speed, acceleration, motor speed, power, currents, voltages, temperatures, throttle position, GPS position, rider’s heart rate and the ambient environment (air temperature, pressure and humidity). The data was used to understand the following factors that may have prevented a faster time: physical fitness of the rider, thermal limits of the motor and controller, available battery energy and the sprocket ratio between the motor and rear wheel.
Technical Paper

Validation of Wireless Power Transfer up to 11kW Based on SAE J2954 with Bench and Vehicle Testing

Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) promises automated and highly efficient charging of electric and plug-in-hybrid vehicles. As commercial development proceeds forward, the technical challenges of efficiency, interoperability, interference and safety are a primary focus for this industry. The SAE Vehicle Wireless Power and Alignment Taskforce published the Recommended Practice J2954 to help harmonize the first phase of high-power WPT technology development. SAE J2954 uses a performance-based approach to standardizing WPT by specifying ground and vehicle assembly coils to be used in a test stand (per Z-class) to validate performance, interoperability and safety. The main goal of this SAE J2954 bench testing campaign was to prove interoperability between WPT systems utilizing different coil magnetic topologies. This type of testing had not been done before on such a scale with real automaker and supplier systems.