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Technical Paper

Stability Analysis of Automotive Supervisory Control: A Survey

This paper focuses on stability of automotive supervisory control systems (ASCSs). It serves to introduce the concept of stability with respect to an entire ASCS. The realm of ASCSs is categorized and a brief description of pre-existing classical methods of stability analysis is presented. With the concept then having been fully introduced, an approach to evaluating stability of a key category of ASCS, the rule-based deterministic ASCS, is presented. This approach, cited from unrelated modern literature concerning stability of deterministic finite state machines, is novel in that its original target research area was not specifically automotive engineering.
Technical Paper

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

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.
Technical Paper

Design of an All-Revolute, Linkage-Type, Constant-Velocity Coupling

This paper describes a design methodology for a three degree-of-freedom, linkage-based constant-velocity coupling. This coupling resembles the Clemens coupling patented in 1872 and has evolved from the authors' previous research in parallel mechanisms. This coupling contains only revolute joints and is therefore likely to be more durable and less prone to manufacturing errors than conventional higher-pair couplings. The kinematic configuration, based on the symmetric double octahedral Variable Geometry Truss mechanism (figure 2), has many inherent traits that make it ideal for application to industrial uses. Its parallel design of simple links and revolute joints provide it with high strength, rigidity, and light-weight characteristics. It has a link-joint construction that allows its geometry to be varied for specific applications, such as producing high angular deflection between the input and output shafts.
Technical Paper

Study on the Effects of Rubber Compounds on Tire Performance on Ice

Mechanical and thermal properties of the rubber compounds of a tire play an important role in the overall performance of the tire when it is in contact with the terrain. Although there are many studies conducted on the properties of the rubber compounds of the tire to improve some of the tire characteristics such as the wear of the tread, there is a limited number of studies that focused on the performance of the tire when it is in contact with ice. This study is a part of a more comprehensive project looking into tire-ice performance and modeling. A significant part of this study is the experimental investigation of the effect of rubber compounds on tire performance in contact with ice. For this, four tires have been selected for testing. Three of them are completely identical in all tire parameters (such as tire dimensions), except for the rubber compounds. Several tests were conducted for the chosen tires in three modes: free rolling, braking, and traction.
Technical Paper

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

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.