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Technical Paper

Development of Auditory Warning Signals for Mitigating Heavy Truck Rear-End Crashes

2010-10-05
2010-01-2019
Rear-end crashes involving heavy trucks occur with sufficient frequency that they are a cause of concern within regulatory agencies. In 2006, there were approximately 23,500 rear-end crashes involving heavy trucks which resulted in 135 fatalities. As part of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) goal of reducing the overall number of truck crashes, the Enhanced Rear Signaling (ERS) for Heavy Trucks project was developed to investigate methods to reduce or mitigate those crashes where a heavy truck has been struck from behind by another vehicle. Researchers also utilized what had been learned in the rear-end crash avoidance work with light vehicles that was conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) serving as the prime research organization. ERS crash countermeasures investigated included passive conspicuity markings, visual signals, and auditory signals.
Journal Article

Fleetwide Safety Benefits of Production Forward Collision and Lane Departure Warning Systems

2014-04-01
2014-01-0166
Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems are two active safety systems that have recently been added to the U.S. New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) evaluation. Vehicles that pass confirmation tests may advertise the presence of FCW and LDW alongside the vehicle's star safety rating derived from crash tests. This paper predicts the number of crashes and injured drivers that could be prevented if all vehicles in the U.S. fleet were equipped with production FCW and/or LDW systems. Models of each system were developed using the test track data collected for 16 FCW and 10 LDW systems by the NCAP confirmation tests. These models were used in existing fleetwide benefits models developed for FCW and LDW. The 16 FCW systems evaluated could have potentially prevented between 9% and 53% of all rear-end collisions and prevented between 19% and 60% of injured (MAIS2+) drivers. Earlier warning times prevented more warnings and injuries.
Journal Article

Tire Traction of Commercial Vehicles on Icy Roads

2014-09-30
2014-01-2292
Safety and minimal transit time are vital during transportation of essential commodities and passengers, especially in winter conditions. Icy roads are the worst driving conditions with the least available friction, leaving valuable cargo and precious human lives at stake. The study investigates the available friction at the tire-ice interface due to changes in key operational parameters. Experimental analysis of tractive performance of tires on ice was carried out indoor, using the terramechanics rig located at the Advanced Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory (AVDL) at Virginia Tech. The friction-slip ratio curves obtained from indoor testing were inputted into TruckSIM, defining tire behavior for various ice scenarios and then simulating performance of trucks on ice. The shortcomings of simulations in considering the effects of all the operational parameters result in differences between findings of indoor testing and truck performance simulations.
Journal Article

Validation of Event Data Recorders in High Severity Full‑Frontal Crash Tests

2013-04-08
2013-01-1265
This study evaluates the accuracy of 41 Event Data Recorders (EDR) extracted from model year 2012 General Motors, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Toyota, and Volvo vehicles subjected to New Car Assessment Program 56 kph full-frontal barrier crash tests. The approach was to evaluate (1) the vehicle longitudinal change in velocity or delta-V (ΔV) as measured by EDRs in comparison with the high-precision accelerometers mounted onboard test vehicles and (2) the accuracy of pre-crash speed, seatbelt buckle status, and frontal airbag deployment status. On average the absolute error for pre-crash speed between the EDR and reference instrumentation was only 0.58 kph, or 1.0% of the nominal impact speed. In all cases in which the EDRs recorded the seatbelt buckle status of the driver or right front passenger, the modules correctly reported that the occupants were buckled. EDRs reported airbag deployment correctly in all of the tests.
Technical Paper

Predicting Driving Postures and Seated Positions in SUVs Using a 3D Digital Human Modeling Tool

2008-06-17
2008-01-1856
3D digital human modeling (DHM) tools for vehicle packaging facilitate ergonomic design and evaluation based on anthropometry, comfort, and force analysis. It is now possible to quickly predict postures and positions for drivers with selected anthropometry based on ergonomics principles. Despite their powerful visual representation technology for human movements and postures, these tools are still questioned with regard to the validity of the output they provide, especially when predictions are made for different populations. Driving postures and positions of two populations (i.e. North Americans and Koreans) were measured in actual and mock-up SUVs to investigate postural differences and evaluate the results provided by a DHM tool. No difference in driving postures was found between different stature groups within the same population. Between the two populations, however, preferred angles differed for three joints (i.e., ankle, thigh, and hip).
Technical Paper

Investigation of Traumatic Brain Injuries Using the Next Generation of Simulated Injury Monitor (SIMon) Finite Element Head Model

2008-11-03
2008-22-0001
The objective of this study was to investigate potential for traumatic brain injuries (TBI) using a newly developed, geometrically detailed, finite element head model (FEHM) within the concept of a simulated injury monitor (SIMon). The new FEHM is comprised of several parts: cerebrum, cerebellum, falx, tentorium, combined pia-arachnoid complex (PAC) with cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF), ventricles, brainstem, and parasagittal blood vessels. The model's topology was derived from human computer tomography (CT) scans and then uniformly scaled such that the mass of the brain represents the mass of a 50th percentile male's brain (1.5 kg) with the total head mass of 4.5 kg. The topology of the model was then compared to the preliminary data on the average topology derived from Procrustes shape analysis of 59 individuals. Material properties of the various parts were assigned based on the latest experimental data.
Technical Paper

Comparison of ATD to PMHS Response in the Under-Body Blast Environment

2015-11-09
2015-22-0017
A blast buck (Accelerative Loading Fixture, or ALF) was developed for studying underbody blast events in a laboratory-like setting. It was designed to provide a high-magnitude, high-rate, vertical loading environment for cadaver and dummy testing. It consists of a platform with a reinforcing cage that supports adjustable-height rigid seats for two crew positions. The platform has a heavy frame with a deformable floor insert. Fourteen tests were conducted using fourteen PMHS (post mortem human surrogates) and the Hybrid III ATD (Anthropomorphic Test Device). Tests were conducted at two charge levels: enhanced and mild. The surrogates were tested with and without PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), and in two different postures: nominal (knee angle of 90°) and obtuse (knee angle of 120°). The ALF reproduces damage in the PMHS commensurate with injuries experienced in theater, with the most common damage being to the pelvis and ankle.
Technical Paper

Analysis of upper extremity response under side air bag loading

2001-06-04
2001-06-0016
Computer simulations, dummy experiments with a new enhanced upper extremity, and small female cadaver experiments were used to analyze the small female upper extremity response under side air bag loading. After establishing the initial position, three tests were performed with the 5th percentile female hybrid III dummy, and six experiments with small female cadaver subjects. A new 5th percentile female enhanced upper extremity was developed for the dummy experiments that included a two-axis wrist load cell in addition to the existing six-axis load cells in both the forearm and humerus. Forearm pronation was also included in the new dummy upper extremity to increase the biofidelity of the interaction with the handgrip. Instrumentation for both the cadaver and dummy tests included accelerometers and magnetohydrodynamic angular rate sensors on the forearm, humerus, upper and lower spine.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Event Data Recorder Survivability in Crashes with Fire, Immersion, and High Delta-V

2015-04-14
2015-01-1444
Event data recorders (EDRs) must survive regulatory frontal and side compliance crash tests if installed within a car or light truck built on or after September 1, 2012. Although previous research has shown that EDR data are surviving these tests, little is known about whether EDRs are capable of surviving collisions of higher delta-v, or crashes involving vehicle fire or immersion. The goal of this study was to determine the survivability of light vehicle EDRs in real world fire, immersion, and high change in velocity (delta-v) cases. The specific objective was to identify the frequency of these extreme events and to determine the EDR data download outcome when subject to damage caused by these events. This study was performed using three crash databases: the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), the National Automotive Sampling System / Crashworthiness Data System (NASS/CDS), and the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey (NMVCCS).
Technical Paper

Survivability of Event Data Recorder Data in Exposure to High Temperature, Submersion, and Static Crush

2015-04-14
2015-01-1449
Event data recorder (EDR) data are currently only required to survive the crash tests specified by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 208 and FMVSS 214. Although these crash tests are severe, motor vehicles are also exposed to more severe crashes, fire, and submersion. Little is known about whether current EDR data are capable of surviving these events. The objective of this study was to determine the limits of survivability for EDR data for realistic car crash conditions involving heat, submersion, and static crush. Thirty-one (31) EDRs were assessed in this study: 4 in the pilot tests and 27 in the production tests. The production tests were conducted on model year (MY) 2011-2012 EDRs enclosed in plastic, metal, or a combination of both materials. Each enclosure type was exposed to 9 tests. The high temperature tests were divided into 3 oven testing conditions: 100°C, 150°C, and 200°C.
Journal Article

Validation of Event Data Recorders in Side-Impact Crash Tests

2014-04-01
2014-01-0503
This study evaluated the accuracy of 75 Event Data Recorders (EDRs) extracted from model year 2010-2012 Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, and Toyota vehicles subjected to side-impact moving deformable barrier crash tests. The test report and vehicle-mounted accelerometers provided reference values to assess the EDR reported change in lateral velocity (delta-v), seatbelt buckle status, and airbag deployment status. Our results show that EDRs underreported the reference lateral delta-v in the vast majority of cases, mimicking the errors and conclusions found in some longitudinal EDR accuracy studies. For maximum lateral delta-v, the average arithmetic error was −3.59 kph (−13.8%) and the average absolute error was 4.05 kph (15.9%). All EDR reports that recorded a seatbelt buckle status data element correctly recorded the buckle status at both the driver and right front passenger locations.
Technical Paper

Accuracy of Translations Obtained by 2013 GIT Tool on 2010-2012 Kia and Hyundai EDR Speed and Delta V Data in NCAP Tests

2014-04-01
2014-01-0502
Kia and Hyundai released publicly available tools in the spring of 2013 to read model year (MY) 2013 vehicle event data recorders (EDRs). By empirical testing, this study determined the tools also read data from some 2010-2012 models as EDRs were phased in by the manufacturer. Fifty-four (54) MY 2010-2012 airbag control module EDRs from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) crash tests were downloaded direct-to-module. The vehicles analyzed were exposed to frontal, side moving deformable barrier (MDB), and side pole tests. The EDR data was compared to the reference instrumentation for speed and Delta V data. Other data elements were also tabulated but are not evaluated for accuracy because they were not fully exercised during the crash tests, the reference instrumentation was not available, or they were outside the scope of this paper.
Technical Paper

Does the Interaction between Vehicle Headlamps and Roadway Lighting Affect Visibility? A Study of Pedestrian and Object Contrast

2020-04-14
2020-01-0569
Vehicle headlamps and roadway lighting are the major sources of illumination at night. These sources affect contrast - defined as the luminance difference of an object from its background - which drives visibility at night. However, the combined effect of vehicle headlamps and intersection lighting on object contrast has not been reported previously. In this study, the interactive effects of vehicle headlamps and overhead lighting on object contrast were explored based on earlier work that examined drivers’ visibility under three intersection lighting designs (illuminated approach, illuminated box, and illuminated approach + box). The goals of this study were to: 1) quantify object luminance and contrast as a function of a vehicle’s headlamps and its distance to an intersection using the three lighting designs; and, 2) to assess whether contrast influences visual performance and perceived visibility in a highly dynamic intersection environment.
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