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Technical Paper

Towards On-Line Prediction of the In-Cylinder Pressure in Diesel Engines from Engine Vibration Using Artificial Neural Networks

This study aims at building efficient and robust artificial neural networks (ANN) able to reconstruct the in-cylinder pressure of Diesel engines and to identify engine conditions starting from the signal of a low-cost accelerometer placed on the engine block. The accelerometer is a perfect non-intrusive replacement for expensive probes and is prospectively suitable for production vehicles. In this view, the artificial neural network is meant to be efficient in terms of response time, i.e. fast enough for on-line use. In addition, robustness is sought in order to provide flexibility in terms of operation parameters. Here we consider a feed-forward neural network based on radial basis functions (RBF) for signal reconstruction, and a feed-forward multi-layer perceptron network with tan-sigmoid transfer function for signal classification. The networks are trained using measurements from a three-cylinder real engine for various operating conditions.
Technical Paper

Multiple Injection in a Mixed Mode GDI Boosted Engine

A numerical investigation is performed with the aim of understanding the potential benefits of multiple injections in the mixed mode boosting operation of a Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engine. The study is carried out by firstly characterizing a high pressure multi-hole injector from the experimental point of view in the split injection operation. Measurements of the fuel injection rate are made through an AVL Meter operating on the Bosch principle. The injector is tested using gasoline in a double pulse strategy. The injection pressure is varied between 5.0 and 25.0 MPa with the pulse durations calibrated for delivering a total mass up to 50 mg/str. The choice of the dwell time between two successive injection events is achieved by firstly defining the minimum time compatible with the mechanical characteristics of both the injector and the injector driver.
Journal Article

Theoretical and Experimental Ride Comfort Assessment of a Subject Seated into a Car

A comprehensive research is presented aiming at assessing the ride comfort of subjects seated into road or off-road vehicles. Although many papers and books have appeared in the literature, many issues on ride comfort are still to be understood, in particular, the paper investigates the mutual effects of the posture and the vibration caused mostly from road unevenness. The paper is divided into two parts. In the first part, a mathematical model of a seated subject is validated by means of actual measurements on human subjects riding on a car. Such measurements refer to the accelerations acting at the subject/seat interface (vertical acceleration at the seat cushion and horizontal acceleration at the seat back). A proper dummy is used to derive the seat stiffness and damping.
Technical Paper

On the Impact of the Maximum Available Tire-Road Friction Coefficient Awareness in a Brake-Based Torque Vectoring System

Tire-road interaction is one of the main concerns in the design of control strategies for active/semi-active differentials oriented to improve handling performances of a vehicle. In particular, the knowledge of the friction coefficient at the tire-road interface is crucial for achieving the best performance in any working condition. State observers and estimators have been developed at the purpose, based on the measurements traditionally carried out on board vehicle (steer angle, lateral acceleration, yaw rate, wheels speed). However, until today, the problem of tire-road friction coefficient estimation (and especially of its maximum value) has not completely been solved. Thus, active control systems developed so far rely on a driver manual selection of the road adherence condition (anyway characterized by a rough and imprecise quality) or on a conservative tuning of the control logic in order to ensure vehicle safety among different tire-road friction coefficients.
Technical Paper

Subjective-Objective Ride Comfort Assessment of Farm Tractors

The paper is focused on both the subjective and the objective ride comfort evaluation of farm tractors. The experimental measurement of the relevant accelerations occurring at the tractor body, at the cabin and at the seat was performed on a number of different farm tractors. A subjective rating of the ride comfort level was performed by considering five different drivers. The comfort index was computed according with ISO 2631 and other standards. The acceleration of the seated subject was computed by means of a proper mechanical model of a farm tractor and derived at different positions on the subject body. It turned out that the acceleration of the lower torso was particularly relevant for establishing a matching between the subjective perception and the objective measurement and computation. A number of indices have been derived from the measured data which are able to correlate the subjective driver feeling with the measured accelerations.
Technical Paper

Preliminary Design of a Bio-Regenerative ECLSS Technological Demo Plant for Air and Water Management

Future human exploration roadmaps involve the development of temporary or permanent outposts on Moon and Mars. The capability of providing astronauts with proper conditions for living and working in extraterrestrial environments is therefore a key issue for the sustainability of those roadmaps, and closed-loop Environment Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSSs) and bio-regenerative plants represent the necessary evolution of current technologies for complying with the challenging requirements imposed. This paper presents the architectural design of a terrestrial plant to be exploited to test and validate air and water management technologies for a biological life support system in a closed environment. The plant includes a crew area and a plant growth area. These two spaces can be considered as either a unique volume or two separated environments with reduced contact, e.g. for plant harvesting or other up-keeping activities.
Technical Paper

Instrumented Steering Wheel for Accurate ADAS Development

We introduce in this paper a new Instrumented Steering Wheel (ISW) for ADAS development. The ISW has been designed, constructed and employed with satisfactory results. The ISW is able to measure three forces, three moments and the grip force at each hand of the driver. The ISW has been used for ADAS activities on an instrumented road vehicle. The aim was to use both the vehicle states and the ISW data for evaluating the driver behaviour. Two research activities were performed. The first activity refers to monitoring the driver behaviour during tests on a track. The second activity refers to the use of haptic ISWs, able to improve the ADAS systems. Referring to the first activity, the greatest majority of drivers applied always the same sequence of forces (pull, radial, tangential) either during emergency manoeuvres, either during slow speed curving.
Technical Paper

Statistical Determination of Local Driving Cycles Based on Experimental Campaign as WLTC Real Approach

In the context of a transport sustainability, some solutions could be proposed from the integration of many disciplines, architects, environmentalists, policy makers, and consequently it may be addressed with different approaches. These solutions would be applied at different geographical levels, i.e. national, regional or urban scale. Moreover, the assessment of cars emissions in real use plays a fundamental role for their reductions. This is also the direction of the new harmonized test procedures (WLTP). Furthermore, it is fundamental to keep in mind that the new WLTC cycle will reproduce a situation closer to the reality comparing to the EUDC/NEDC driving cycle. In this paper, we will be focused on vehicle kinematic evaluation aimed at valuation of traffic situation and emissions.
Technical Paper

An Aetiological Analysis of Seat Related Occupational Accidents and Diseases of Professional Drivers

Low back pain is more frequently present in patients involved in occupations that are related to driving automobiles, motorcycles, buses, tractors, trucks and heavy construction and agriculture machinery. Furthermore, low back pain is the leading major cause of disability in those younger than 45 years. The EU co-funded project SAFEGUARD aims at developing a new seat that will improve comfort, while decreasing the risk for health damage. In addition, it aims at developing in a broader sense a methodology, to evaluate seating comfort. This paper presents the results of the user needs analysis study and the plans towards the later phases within the overall SAFEGUARD concept and framework.
Technical Paper

ANNIE, a Tool for Integrating Ergonomics in the Design of Car Interiors

In the ANNIE project - Applications of Neural Networks to Integrated Ergonomics - BE96-3433, a tool for integrating ergonomics into the design process is developed. This paper presents some features in the current ANNIE as applied to the design of car interiors. A variant of the ERGOMan mannequin with vision is controlled by a hybrid system for neuro-fuzzy simulation. It is trained by using an Elite system for registration of movements. An example of a trajectory generated by the system is shown. A fuzzy model is used for comfort evaluation. An experiment was performed to test its feasibility and it showed very promising results.
Technical Paper

Dynamic Tests of Racing Seats and Simulation with Vedyac Code

Dynamic tests have been performed on carbon fiber racing seats following the FIA regulations. The tests have shown, in rear impact tests, a relatively strong rebound leading to large forward bending of neck, and, in side impact tests, very large lateral displacement of the head, the latter protruding dangerously towards hard portions of the car structure. Stiffening the seat back by steel struts results in reducing strongly both the motion and the acceleration of the head. Simulations of the dynamics of the tests have been done with multi-body models, including the Hybrid III dummy and seat deflection, by means of the program VEDYAC. It has been found that computer simulation can predict very accurately the result of a test, provided the numerical models have been carefully calibrated to match the dummy tolerance bands. Once they have been calibrated and validated with a number of tests, the computer models can be very useful to extend the test results to different test conditions.
Technical Paper

Prediction of Interior Vehicle Noise by Means of NARX Neural Networks

In recent years, great interest on NVH characteristics of vehicles has been paid by all the big automotive manufacturers. Interior acoustic comfort is now one of the main key factors in vehicle development process, since it contributes to improved product overall quality. Therefore, in automotive industry advanced NVH refinement needs to work in synergy with all research activities. Assessing the level of experienced noise in interior cabin requires particular arrangements for ensuring adequate measurement accuracy (AC system off, closed window, etc.). The use of parameters such as the level of seat vibration, not affected by the acoustic field conditions inside the vehicle, could facilitate experiments in parallel with engine/vehicle calibration activities.
Technical Paper

Emission Factors Evaluation in the RDE Context by a Multivariate Statistical Approach

The Real Driving Emission (RDE) procedure will measure the pollutants, such as NOx, emitted by cars while driven on the road. RDE will not replace laboratory tests, such as the current WLTP but it will be added to them. RDE is complementary to the laboratory-based procedure to check the pollutant emissions level of a light-duty vehicle in real driving conditions. This means that the car will be driven on a real road according to random acceleration and deceleration patterns conditioned by traffic flow. So, the procedure will ensure that cars deliver real emissions over on-road and so the currently observed differences between emissions measured in the laboratory and those measured on road under real-world conditions, will be reduced. However, the identification of a path on the road to check the test conditions of RDE is not easy and hardly repeatable.
Technical Paper

Numerical Investigation of the Vertical Dynamics of an Agricultural Vehicle Operating on Deformable Soil

This work focuses on the analysis of the vertical dynamics of an agricultural tractor, investigating the influence of suspensions' parameters on riding comfort and contact forces. The use of lugged tires coupled with the operation over banked, irregular and deformable tracks, determines significant levels of vertical acceleration over several components of the tractor. These operating conditions have a direct effect on the driver, whose alertness and efficiency are undermined by the exposure to high levels of acceleration for a long time. Secondly, variations of the normal and traction forces provided by the tires affect the quality of tillage and other operations. The paper presents a multi-body vehicle model of a tractor interfaced with a tire-soil contact model allowing to take into account soil's deformation and tread pattern design.
Technical Paper

Biodiesel Stability and its Effects on Diesel Fuel Injection Equipment

The effects of biodiesel oxidation stability on diesel fuel injection equipment (FIE) behavior were investigated using newly developed test rig and methodology. On the test rig, biodiesel blend fuels were circulated through a fuel tank and a common rail injection system. Fuel injected from typical diesel injectors was returned into the fuel tank to enhance the speed of fuel degradation. The results showed that injector deposits could be reproduced on a test rig. It was observed that injector body temperature increase accelerates the degradation of fuel and therefore gives earlier FIE failure. Fuel renewal could partially restore the injection quantity after complete failure at low injection pressure, thus showing a potential cleaning effect on injector deposits when refueling a car.
Journal Article

Bifurcation Analysis of a Car Model Running on an Even Surface - A Fundamental Study for Addressing Automomous Vehicle Dynamics

The paper deals with the bifurcation analysis of a simple mathematical model describing an automobile running on an even surface. Bifurcation analysis is adopted as the proper procedure for an in-depth understanding of the stability of steady-state motion of cars (either cornering or running straight ahead). The aim of the paper is providing the fundamental information for inspiring further studies on vehicle dynamics with or without a human driver. The considered mechanical model of the car has two degrees of freedom, nonlinear tire characteristics are included. A simple driver model is introduced. Experimental validations of the model are produced. As a first step, bifurcation analysis is performed without driver (fixed control). Ten different combinations of front and rear tire characteristics (featuring understeer or oversteer automobiles) are considered. Steering angle and speed are varied. Many different dynamical behaviors of the model are found.
Technical Paper

Evolution of the Ride Comfort of Alfa Romeo Cars since 1955 until 2005

The ride comfort of three Alfa Romeo cars, namely Giulietta (1955), Alfetta (1972) and 159 (2005) has been assessed both objectively and subjectively. The three cars belong to the same market segment. The aim is to let young engineers or graduate students understand how technology has evolved and eventually learn a lesson from the assessed trend. A number of cleats have been fixed at the ground and the three cars have traversed such uneven surface. The objective assessment of the ride comfort has been performed by means of accelerometers fixed at the seat rails, additionally a special dummy developed at Politecnico di Milano has been employed. The subjective assessment has been performed by a panel of passengers. The match between objective and subjective ratings is very good. Simple mathematical models have been employed to establish a (successful) comparison between experimental and computational results. The ride comfort differs substantially among the cars.