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Technical Paper

Tractor-Semitrailer Stability Following a Steer Axle Tire Blowout at Speed and Comparison to Computer Simulation Models

This paper documents the vehicle response of a tractor-semitrailer following a sudden air loss (Blowout) in a steer axle tire while traveling at highway speeds. The study seeks to compare full-scale test data to predicted response from detailed heavy truck computer vehicle dynamics simulation models. Full-scale testing of a tractor-semitrailer experiencing a sudden failure of a steer axle tire was conducted. Vehicle handling parameters were recorded by on-board computers leading up to and immediately following the sudden air loss. Inertial parameters (roll, yaw, pitch, and accelerations) were measured and recorded for the tractor and semitrailer, along with lateral and longitudinal speeds. Steering wheel angle was also recorded. These data are presented and also compared to the results of computer simulation models. The first simulation model, SImulation MOdel Non-linear (SIMON), is a vehicle dynamic simulation model within the Human Vehicle Environment (HVE) software environment.
Technical Paper

Modeling of a 6×4 Tractor and Trailers for Use in Real Time Hardware in the Loop Simulation for ESC Testing

According to NHTSA's 2011 Traffic Safety Facts [1], passenger vehicle occupant fatalities continued the strong decline that has been occurring recently. In 2011, there were 21,253 passenger vehicles fatalities compared to 22,273 in 2010, and that was a 4.6% decrease. However; large-truck occupant fatalities increased from 530 in 2010 to 635 in 2011, which is a 20% increase. This was a second consecutive year in which large truck fatalities have increased (9% increase from 2009 to 2010). There was also a 15% increase in large truck occupant injuries from 2010. Moreover, the fatal crashes involving large trucks increased by 1.9%, in contrast to other-vehicle-occupant fatalities that declined by 3.6% from 2010. The 2010 accident statistics NHTSA's report reveals that large trucks have a fatal accident involvement rate of 1.22 vehicles per 100 million vehicle miles traveled compared to 1.53 for light trucks and 1.18 for passenger cars.
Technical Paper

Pole Impact Speeds Derived from Bilinear Estimations of Maximum Crush for Body-On-Frame Constructed Vehicles

Accident reconstructionists use several different approaches to determine vehicle equivalent impact speed from damage due to narrow object impacts. One method that is used relates maximum crush to equivalent impact speed with a bilinear curve. In the past, this model has been applied to several passenger cars with unibody construction. In this paper, the approach is applied to a body-on-frame vehicle. Several vehicle-to-rigid pole impact tests have been conducted on a full-size pickup at different speeds and impact locations: centrally located across the vehicle's front and outside the frame rail. A bilinear model relating vehicle equivalent impact speed to maximum crush is developed for the impact locations. These results are then compared to results obtained from other body-on-frame vehicles as well as unibody vehicles. Other tests such as impacts on the frame rail and barrier impacts are also presented. Limitations to this bilinear approach are discussed.
Technical Paper

Vehicle Characterization Through Pole Impact Testing, Part I: Vehicle Response in Terms of Acceleration Pulses

The shape of an acceleration pulse in an impact is not only affected by the change in velocity, but also by the geometry and stiffness of the both the striking vehicle and the struck object. In this paper, the frontal crash performance of a full-size pickup is studied through a series of impact tests with a rigid pole and with a flat barrier. Each rigid pole test is conducted at one of four locations across the front of the vehicle and at impact speeds of 10 mph, 20 mph, or 30 mph. The flat barrier tests are conducted at 10 mph, 15 mph, 20 mph, and 30 mph. The vehicle crush and acceleration pulses resulting from the pole tests are compared to those resulting from the barrier tests. The severity of pole impacts and the severity of flat barrier impacts are compared based on peak accelerations and pulse durations of the occupant compartment.
Journal Article

Validation of Real Time Hardware in the Loop Simulation for ESC Testing with a 6×4 Tractor and Trailer Models

The tractor trailer models discussed in this paper were for a real-time hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation to test heavy truck electronic stability control (ESC) systems [1]. The accuracy of the simulation results relies on the fidelity and accuracy of the vehicle parameters used. However in this case where hardware components are part of the simulation, their accuracy also affects the proper working of the simulation and ESC unit. Hence both the software and hardware components have to be validated. The validation process discussed in this paper is divided into two sections. The first section deals with the validation of the TruckSim vehicle model, where experimental data is compared with simulation results from TruckSim. Once the vehicle models are validated, they are incorporated in the HIL simulation and the second section discusses the validation of the whole HIL system with ESC.
Technical Paper

Vehicle Speed Change and Acceleration Associated with Curb Impacts and a Comparison to Computer Simulation with a Multi-Point Radial Spring Tire Model

This paper is a follow up to a study published in 2005 1 on the same topic and presents a study that was conducted to compare vehicle speed change and acceleration data from full-scale testing to results generated by computer simulation using the SImulation MOdel Non-linear (SIMON) vehicle dynamic simulation model version 3.1 within the Human Vehicle Environment (HVE) software version 5.2. SIMON will be referred to in this paper as the computer or simulation model, while HVE will be referred to as the computer software. In the previous study, a simple method to model the curb was developed and version 2.0 of the simulation model was validated, for delta-v, up to approximately 6.7 m/s (15 mph) and for vertical accelerations, up to speeds of approximately 4.5 m/s (10 mph).
Journal Article

Application of Air Brake Performance Relationships in Accident Reconstruction and Their Correlation to Real Vehicle Performance

This research paper builds onto the wealth of technical information that has been published in the past by engineers such as Flick, Radlinski, and Heusser. For this paper, the pushrod force versus chamber pressure data published by Heusser are supplemented with data taken from brake chamber types not reported on by Heusser in 1991. The utility of Heusser's braking force relationships is explored and discussed. Finally, a straightforward and robust method for calculating truck braking performance, based on the brake stroke measurements and published heavy truck braking test results, is introduced and compared to full-scale vehicle test data.
Technical Paper

Stiffness Coefficients of Heavy Commercial Vehicles

Accident reconstruction specialists have long relied on post-crash deformation and energy equivalence calculations to determine impact severity and the experienced change in velocity during the impact event. In order to utilize post-crash deformation, information must be known about the vehicle's structure and its ability to absorb crash energy. The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), and the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), have created databases with crash testing data for a wide range of vehicles. These crash tests allow reconstruction specialists to determine a specific vehicle's ability to absorb energy as well as to generalize the energy absorption characteristics across vehicle classes. These methods are very well publicized.
Journal Article

Comparison of Heavy Truck Engine Control Unit Hard Stop Data with Higher-Resolution On-Vehicle Data

Engine control units (ECUs) on heavy trucks have been capable of storing “last stop” or “hard stop” data for some years. These data provide useful information to accident reconstruction personnel. In past studies, these data have been analyzed and compared to higher-resolution on-vehicle data for several heavy trucks and several makes of passenger cars. Previous published studies have been quite helpful in understanding the limitations and/or anomalies associated with these data. This study was designed and executed to add to the technical understanding of heavy truck event data recorders (EDR), specifically data associated with a modern Cummins power plant ECU. Emergency “full-treadle” stops were performed at many combinations of load-speed-surface coefficient conditions. In addition, brake-in-curve tests were performed on wet Jennite for various conditions of disablement of the braking system.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Application Air Pressure on Brake Stroke Measurements from 70 to 125 psi

Brake chamber construction allows for a finite stroke for pushrods during brake application. As such, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) mandate maximum allowable strokes for the various chamber types and sizing. Brake strokes are often measured during compliance inspections and post-accident investigations in order to assess vehicle braking performance and/or capability. A number of studies have been performed, and their results published, regarding the effect of brake stroke and function on braking force and heavy truck stopping performance [1] through [4]. All of the studies have relied on a brake supply pressure of 100 pounds per square inch (psi). When brake strokes are measured in the field, following the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) procedure, the application pressure is prescribed to be maintained between 90 and 100 psi.