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Technical Paper

Research Alliances, A Strategy for Progress

In today's business climate rapid access to, and implementation of, new technology is essential to enhance competitive advantage. In the past, universities have been used for research contracts, but to fully utilize the intellectual resources of education institutions, it is essential to approach these relationships from a new basis: alliance. Alliances permit both parties to become active participants and achieve mutually beneficial goals. This paper will examine the drivers and challenges for industrial -- university alliances from both the industrial and academic perspectives.
Technical Paper

Sources of Hydrocarbon Emissions from a Small Direct Injection Diesel Engine

The purpose of this paper is to clarify the mechanisms of unburnt hydrocarbon (HC) emissions from a small direct - injection (DI) diesel engine. HC emission levels of small DI diesel engines are considerably higher than those of corresponding indirect - injection (IDI) diesel engines, even when sacless injection nozzles that are effective in reducing HC emissions are installed on them. In this study, analytical engine tests were performed to evaluate the relative significance of various potential sources of HC emissions from a small DI diesel engine equipped with sacless type injectors.
Technical Paper

A Study of Drag Reduction Devices for Production Pick-up Trucks

This paper describes a study of drag reduction devices for production pick-up trucks with a body-on-frame structure using full-scale wind tunnel testing and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations. First, the flow structure around a pick-up truck was investigated and studied, focusing in particular on the flow structure between the cabin and tailgate. It was found that the flow structure around the tailgate was closely related to aerodynamic drag. A low drag flow structure was found by flow analysis, and the separation angle at the roof end was identified as being important to achieve the flow structure. While proceeding with the development of a new production model, a technical issue of the flow structure involving sensitivity to the vehicle velocity was identified in connection with optimization of the roof end shape. (1)A tailgate spoiler was examined for solving this issue.
Technical Paper

Dual-Fuel Gasoline-Alcohol Engines for Heavy Duty Trucks: Lower Emissions, Flexible-Fuel Alternative to Diesel Engines

Long-haul and other heavy-duty trucks, presently almost entirely powered by diesel fuel, face challenges meeting worldwide needs for greatly reducing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. Dual-fuel gasoline-alcohol engines could potentially provide a means to cost-effectively meet this need at large scale in the relatively near term. They could also provide reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. These spark ignition (SI) flexible fuel engines can provide operation over a wide fuel range from mainly gasoline use to 100% alcohol use. The alcohol can be ethanol or methanol. Use of stoichiometric operation and a three-way catalytic converter can reduce NOx by around 90% relative to emissions from diesel engines with state of the art exhaust treatment.
Technical Paper

A New Electrochromic Device for Automotive Glass - The Development of Adjustable Transparency Glass

A new transparent type electrochromic device (ECD) has been developed. It consists of two electrochromic thin films facing each other, one of “prussian blue” (PB) and the other of tungsten trioxide (WO3). PB exhibits a high intensity of coloration and is blue in the oxidized state and transparent in the reduced state. By electrodeposition, the PB layer can be formed on large substrates at low cost. This ECD has been applied to large, curved automotive glass. It reversibly turns from dark blue to transparent at low operating voltage and maintains the same intensity of coloration without the aid of an external power supply. Compared with photochromic glass, it achieves a greater color change in a shorter time and its light absorption can be changed at will. It shields passengers from the discomfort of glare and heat flow through glass.
Technical Paper

Analysis on Idle Speed Stability in Port Fuel Injection Engines

It has been reported by several researchers that the L-jetronic fuel injection system offers better idle speed stability than the D-jetronic one in port fuel injection engines. However, the volume between the throttle valve and the intake valves in the L-jetronic system acts as a first order lag element in the system and causes air-fuel ratio fluctuation which, in turn, induces idle speed hunting under certain conditions. This study employs computer simulation to determine the influence of three parameters on idle speed stability: (1) flywheel inertia, (2) intake manifold volume, and (3) air-fuel ratio calibration. It also explores means of improving idle speed stability by controlling the air-fuel ratio and ignition timing. The use of actual engine torque data to estimate the generated torque from the amount of air and fuel in each combustion cycle was the unique feature of this study.
Technical Paper

Color Shading Technology for Design CAD Systems

ONE ISSUE IN NEW VEHICLE DEVELOPMENT that has become increasingly more important is the need to put attractive vehicles on the market at the right time. In recent years vehicle design has become a very crucial factor in this effort. Automakers are required to create vehicles having a higher quality design in a shorter period of time and supply them to the market in a timely fashion. As part of the effort to meet these requirements the automakers have developed a variety of CAD/CAM systems, which counterparts in Industry in general. Although most CAD/CAM systems are currently being used primarily at the design and manufacturing stages, the full potential of CAD systems has yet to be realized at the design stage. At Nissan, we have developed a CAD styling system called the Digitized Image Modeling System (DIMS), which serves as a support tool for the creation of new vehicle designs.
Technical Paper

An Exploratory Study of the Driver Workload Assessment by Brain Functional Imaging Using Onboard fNIRS

In making driver workload assessments, it is important to evaluate the driver's level of brain activity because the operation of a motor vehicle presumably involves higher-order brain functions. Driving on narrow roads in particular probably imposes a load on the driver's brain functions because of the need to be cognizant of the tight space and to pay close attention to the surroundings. Test vehicles were fitted with a functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) system for measuring bloodstream concentrations at 32 locations in the frontal lobe of the participating drivers in order to evaluate their levels of mental activity while driving on narrow roads. The results revealed significant increases in cerebral blood flow corresponding to the perceived workload. This suggests that increases in cerebral blood flow can be used as an effective index for estimating mental workloads.
Technical Paper

The Effects of Mid-Channel Ash Plug on DPF Pressure Drop

It has been observed that a certain percentage of diesel particulate filters (DPFs) from the field form mid-channel ash plugs both in light duty and heavy duty applications. As revealed in a post mortem study, some field samples have ash plugs of 3-10 cm length in the middle of DPF inlet channels, which can potentially reduce the inlet channel volume by more than 50%. As a result, the mid-channel ash plug reduces the effective filtration area and decreases the effective channel open width in the middle of the channel. This explains why these filters are reported as having large increases in pressure drop. Moreover, the mid-channel ash deposits reduce the DPF service life and render the filter cleaning process ineffective. In the present study, an open source CFD tool is applied to study the 3D flow crossing two representative inlet and outlet DPF channels where the inlet channels have mid-channel ash plugs.
Journal Article

Brain Waves Measurement Based Evaluation of Mental Workload Related to Visual Information While Driving

In order to build a useful and comfortable in-car human machine interface systems, the information presentation method should be easy to understand (low mental workload) and one should be able to respond with ease to the information presented (low response workload). We are making efforts to establish an evaluation method that would differentiate between mental workload and response workload. Here, we present the results of our trial using brain waves measurements (Eye Fixation Related Potentials). We focus on the relation between P3 latencies and drivers response workload compared to mental workload in a task involving eye movements. Previous experiments showed that P3 latency correlates strongly with the amount of information presented. The current experiment shows that P3 latencies seem to be independent to the type of response the subject is requested to perform.
Technical Paper

Optimization-based Robust Architecture Design for Autonomous Driving System

With the recent advancement in sensing and controller technologies architecture design of an autonomous driving system becomes an important issue. Researchers have been developing different sensors and data processing technologies to solve the issues associated with fast processing, diverse weather, reliability, long distance recognition performance, etc. Necessary considerations of diverse traffic situations and safety factors of autonomous driving also increased the complexity of embedded software as well as architecture of autonomous driving. In these circumstances, there are almost countless numbers of possible architecture designs. However, these design considerations have significant impacts on cost, controllability, and system reliability. Thus, it is crucial for the designers to make challenging and critical design decision under several uncertainties during the conceptual design phase.
Technical Paper

Flex Fuel Gasoline-Alcohol Engines For Near Zero Emissions Plug-In Hybrid Long Haul Trucks

Internal combustion engines for plug-in hybrid heavy duty trucks, especially long haul trucks, can play an important role in facilitating use of battery power. Power from a low carbon electricity source could thereby be employed without an unattractive vehicle cost increase or range limitation. The ideal engine should be powered by a widely available affordable liquid fuel, should minimize air pollutant emissions, and should provide lower greenhouse gas emissions. Diesel engines fall short in meeting these objectives, especially because of high NOx emissions. In this paper we describe features of flex fuel alcohol enhanced gasoline engines in series hybrid powertrains where the engines have the same or greater efficiency of diesel engines while also having 90% lower NOx emissions. Ethanol or methanol is employed to increase knock resistance and provide improved combustion.