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Technical Paper

Evolution of the Ride Comfort of Alfa Romeo Cars since 1955 until 2005

The ride comfort of three Alfa Romeo cars, namely Giulietta (1955), Alfetta (1972) and 159 (2005) has been assessed both objectively and subjectively. The three cars belong to the same market segment. The aim is to let young engineers or graduate students understand how technology has evolved and eventually learn a lesson from the assessed trend. A number of cleats have been fixed at the ground and the three cars have traversed such uneven surface. The objective assessment of the ride comfort has been performed by means of accelerometers fixed at the seat rails, additionally a special dummy developed at Politecnico di Milano has been employed. The subjective assessment has been performed by a panel of passengers. The match between objective and subjective ratings is very good. Simple mathematical models have been employed to establish a (successful) comparison between experimental and computational results. The ride comfort differs substantially among the cars.
Technical Paper

Numerical Investigation of the Vertical Dynamics of an Agricultural Vehicle Operating on Deformable Soil

This work focuses on the analysis of the vertical dynamics of an agricultural tractor, investigating the influence of suspensions' parameters on riding comfort and contact forces. The use of lugged tires coupled with the operation over banked, irregular and deformable tracks, determines significant levels of vertical acceleration over several components of the tractor. These operating conditions have a direct effect on the driver, whose alertness and efficiency are undermined by the exposure to high levels of acceleration for a long time. Secondly, variations of the normal and traction forces provided by the tires affect the quality of tillage and other operations. The paper presents a multi-body vehicle model of a tractor interfaced with a tire-soil contact model allowing to take into account soil's deformation and tread pattern design.
Technical Paper

Subjective-Objective Ride Comfort Assessment of Farm Tractors

The paper is focused on both the subjective and the objective ride comfort evaluation of farm tractors. The experimental measurement of the relevant accelerations occurring at the tractor body, at the cabin and at the seat was performed on a number of different farm tractors. A subjective rating of the ride comfort level was performed by considering five different drivers. The comfort index was computed according with ISO 2631 and other standards. The acceleration of the seated subject was computed by means of a proper mechanical model of a farm tractor and derived at different positions on the subject body. It turned out that the acceleration of the lower torso was particularly relevant for establishing a matching between the subjective perception and the objective measurement and computation. A number of indices have been derived from the measured data which are able to correlate the subjective driver feeling with the measured accelerations.
Technical Paper

ANNIE, a Tool for Integrating Ergonomics in the Design of Car Interiors

In the ANNIE project - Applications of Neural Networks to Integrated Ergonomics - BE96-3433, a tool for integrating ergonomics into the design process is developed. This paper presents some features in the current ANNIE as applied to the design of car interiors. A variant of the ERGOMan mannequin with vision is controlled by a hybrid system for neuro-fuzzy simulation. It is trained by using an Elite system for registration of movements. An example of a trajectory generated by the system is shown. A fuzzy model is used for comfort evaluation. An experiment was performed to test its feasibility and it showed very promising results.
Journal Article

Theoretical and Experimental Ride Comfort Assessment of a Subject Seated into a Car

A comprehensive research is presented aiming at assessing the ride comfort of subjects seated into road or off-road vehicles. Although many papers and books have appeared in the literature, many issues on ride comfort are still to be understood, in particular, the paper investigates the mutual effects of the posture and the vibration caused mostly from road unevenness. The paper is divided into two parts. In the first part, a mathematical model of a seated subject is validated by means of actual measurements on human subjects riding on a car. Such measurements refer to the accelerations acting at the subject/seat interface (vertical acceleration at the seat cushion and horizontal acceleration at the seat back). A proper dummy is used to derive the seat stiffness and damping.