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Technical Paper

Estimation of Vehicle Tire-Road Contact Forces: A Comparison between Artificial Neural Network and Observed Theory Approaches

One of the principal goals of modern vehicle control systems is to ensure passenger safety during dangerous maneuvers. Their effectiveness relies on providing appropriate parameter inputs. Tire-road contact forces are among the most important because they provide helpful information that could be used to mitigate vehicle instabilities. Unfortunately, measuring these forces requires expensive instrumentation and is not suitable for commercial vehicles. Thus, accurately estimating them is a crucial task. In this work, two estimation approaches are compared, an observer method and a neural network learning technique. Both predict the lateral and longitudinal tire-road contact forces. The observer approach takes into account system nonlinearities and estimates the stochastic states by using an extended Kalman filter technique to perform data fusion based on the popular bicycle model.
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.