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Technical Paper

Development and Design of Thor-Lx: The Thor Lower Extremity

1999-10-10
99SC09
A new lower extremity has been developed to be used with Thor, the NHTSA Advanced Frontal Dummy. The new lower extremity, known as Thor-Lx, consists of the femur, tibia, ankle joints, foot, a representation of the Achilles' tendon and the associated flash/skins, it has been designed to improve biomechanical response under axial loading of the femur during knee impacts, axial loading of the tibia, static and dynamic dorsiflexion, static plantarflexion and inversion/aversion. Instrumentation includes a standard Hybrid ill femur load cell, accelerometers, load cells, and rotary potentiometers to capture relevant kinematic and dynamic information from the foot and tibia. The design also allows the Tnor-Lx to be attached to the Hybrid III, either at the hip, or at the knee.
Technical Paper

Experimental Steering Feel Performance Measures

2004-03-08
2004-01-1074
This paper discusses techniques for estimating steering feel performance measures for on-center and off-center driving. Weave tests at different speeds are used to get on-center performances for a 1994 Ford Taurus, a 1998 Chevrolet Malibu, and a 1997 Jeep Cherokee. New concepts analyzing weave tests are added, specifically, the difference of the upper and lower curves of the hysteresis and their relevance to driver load feel. For the 1997 Jeep Cherokee, additional tests were done to determine steering on-center transition properties, steering flick tests, and the transfer function of handwheel torque feel to handwheel steering input. This transfer function provides steering system stiffness in the frequency domain. The frequency domain analysis is found to be a unique approach for characterizing handwheel feel, in that it provides a steering feel up to maximum steering rate possible by the drivers.
Technical Paper

Closed Loop Steering System Model for the National Advanced Driving Simulator

2004-03-08
2004-01-1072
This paper presents the details of the model for the physical steering system used on the National Advanced Driving Simulator. The system is basically a hardware-in-the-loop (steering feedback motor and controls) steering system coupled with the core vehicle dynamics of the simulator. The system's torque control uses cascaded position and velocity feedback and is controlled to provide steering feedback with variable stiffness and dynamic properties. The reference model, which calculates the desired value of the torque, is made of power steering torque, damping function torque, torque from tires, locking limit torque, and driver input torque. The model also provides a unique steering dead-band function that is important for on-center feel. A Simulink model of the hardware/software is presented and analysis of the simulator steering system is provided.
Technical Paper

Field Demonstration of a Camera/Video Imaging System for Heavy Vehicles - Driver Lane Change Performance Preliminary Results

2010-10-05
2010-01-2020
On-board Camera/Video Imaging Systems (C/VISs) for heavy vehicles display live images to the driver of selected areas to the sides, and in back of the truck's exterior using displays inside the truck cabin. They provide a countermeasure to blind-spot related crashes by allowing drivers to see objects not ordinarily visible by a typical mirror configuration, and to better judge the clearance between the trailer and an adjacent vehicle when changing lanes. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute is currently investigating commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver performance with C/VISs through a technology field demonstration sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Data collection, which consists of recording twelve CMV drivers performing their daily employment duties with and without a C/VIS for four months, is currently underway.
Technical Paper

A Three-Dimensional Finite Element Analysis of the Human Brain Under Combined Rotational and Translational Accelerations

1994-11-01
942215
Finite element modelling has been used to study the evolution of strain in a model of the human brain under impulsive acceleration loadings. A cumulative damage measure, based on the calculation of the volume fraction of the brain that has experienced a specific level of stretch, is used as a possible predictor for deformation-related brain injury. The measure is based on the maximum principal strain calculated from an objective strain tensor that is obtained by integration of the rate of deformation gradient with appropriate accounting for large rotations. This measure is used here to evaluate the relative effects of rotational and translational accelerations, in both the sagittal and coronal planes, on the development of strain damage in the brain. A new technique for the computational treatment of the brain-dura interface is suggested and used to alleviate the difficulties in the explicit representation of the cerebrospinal fluid layer existing between the two solid materials.
Technical Paper

The New Car Assessment Program:Five Star Rating System and Vehicle Safety Performance Characteristics

1995-02-01
950888
In the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), beginning with the model year 1994 vehicles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) developed and adopted a simplified nonnumeric format for presenting the comparative frontal crashworthiness safety information to consumers. This paper presents the basis for the development of this “star rating” system. The injury probability functions which are used for the star rating system are also applied to the results of the recent NCAP real-world correlation studies and a review of these studies is given. The safety performance for restrained occupants as measured in NCAP is dependent on several parameters which include: the design of the restraint system, the maintenance of the integrity of the occupant space, and the energy management performance of the front structure.
Technical Paper

Deployment of Air Bags into the Thorax of an Out-of-Position Dummy

1999-03-01
1999-01-0764
The air bag has proven effective in reducing fatalities in frontal crashes with estimated decreases ranging from 11% to 30% depending on the size of the vehicle [IIHS-1995, Kahane-1996]. At the same time, some air bag designs have caused fatalities when front-seat passengers have been in close proximity to the deploying air bag [Kleinberger-1997]. The objective of this study was to develop an accurate and repeatable out-of-position test fixture to study the deployment of air bags into out-of-position occupants. Tests were performed with a 5th percentile female Hybrid III dummy and studied air bag loading on the thorax using draft ISO-2 out-of-position (OOP) occupant positioning. Two different interpretations of the ISO-2 positioning were used in this study. The first, termed Nominal ISO-2, placed the chin on the steering wheel with the spine parallel to the steering wheel.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Human Driver Behavior in Highway Cut-in Scenarios

2017-03-28
2017-01-1402
The rapid development of driver assistance systems, such as lane-departure warning (LDW) and lane-keeping support (LKS), along with widely publicized reports of automated vehicle testing, have created the expectation for an increasing amount of vehicle automation in the near future. As these systems are being phased in, the coexistence of automated vehicles and human-driven vehicles on roadways will be inevitable and necessary. In order to develop automated vehicles that integrate well with those that are operated in traditional ways, an appropriate understanding of human driver behavior in normal traffic situations would be beneficial. Unlike many research studies that have focused on collision-avoidance maneuvering, this paper analyzes the behavior of human drivers in response to cut-in vehicles moving at similar speeds. Both automated and human-driven vehicles are likely to encounter this scenario in daily highway driving.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Pedestrian Kinematics and Injuries in Staged Impact Tests with Cadavers and Mathematical 2D Simulations

1983-02-01
830186
The paper presents a comparison of kinematic responses between the MVMA-2D and the MAC-DAN pedestrian models and pedestrian cadaver kinematics observed in staged car/pedestrian impact tests. The paper also discusses the injuries experienced in the cadaver tests. Seven cadaver specimens in the standing posture were impacted at 25 mph by two different cars: one having a steel bumper and the other having a plastic bumper. The MVMA-2D and MAC-DAN mathematical pedestrian models were employed to simulate pedestrian impacts at 25 mph by a vehicle with a stylized geometry that is similar to the vehicles used in cadaver tests. Comparison of the simulations and the cadaver tests show that both models require further refinement to be able to more accurately simulate the kinematics of the lower legs during impacts with the vehicle bumper.
Technical Paper

Traffic Related Disabilities and Impairments and Their Economic Consequences

1986-02-24
860505
A study was made of the incidence of traffic related injuries, the related disability and impairment, and the resulting economic consequences. Crash data covering the incidence of injuries and their distribution by injury type and severity show that nearly three and a half million persons per year are injured in traffic crashes, with roughly half of them experiencing at least one day of disability. Brain and spinal cord injuries, both believed to have long term consequences, were examined in greater detail. Epidemiological data covering these injuries indicate about 60,000 persons suffer disabling brain injuries and about 4,000 persons suffer disabling spinal cord injuries each year. These are significantly larger incidence values for these two injury types than shown by the crash data. There is little quantatative data on the disability and impairment resulting from traffic crashes, nor is there agreement on how to report such data.
Technical Paper

A Simple, Practical Method of Assessing Foam Padding Materials for Head Impact Protection

1986-02-24
860199
Since 1960 head impact responses under the action of various forces have been studied analytically. However, the effects of force distribution upon head injury mechanisms have not been studied because measurements of force distribution during head impacts have not been experimentally available. In the past, several methods were tested in order to measure head contact pressure, but the results were not very useful. Since the skull is a composite shell structure, the thin shell theory may be valid for stress analysis. According to the theory, the influence of an external load on a shell element damps out rapidly as the distance between the load and the element increases. Stress concentrations occur in the shell elements directly under the center core area of a localized external load. Therefore, the force on the center core, not the entire force distribution, is critical for the assessment of skull responses.
Technical Paper

Two New Areas Concerning Side impact Protection for Passenger Car Occupants

1987-05-01
871114
In vehicle crash accidents, approximately 27% to 30% of passenger car occupant casualties are attributed to side impact accidents. The annual death toll in side impacts for passenger car occupants reached 9,000 in 1975 and 1976 and has been between 7,000 and 8,000 in the 1980's. Since 1977, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and many other groups have conducted a significant amount of research on occupant side impact protection with emphasis on thorax injury reduction. Three important problem areas in the side impact are (1) thorax-to-side interior impact, (2) head impacts with A-pillar/roof rail components and (3) occupant ejection through side doors/windows. While the first problem area has been thoroughly studied, the remaining two areas are seldom discussed and less well understood. Therefore, they are relatively new areas to many people.
Technical Paper

1974 Accident Experience with Air Cushion Restraint Systems

1975-02-01
750190
An air cushion restraint system has been available to the public on certain model passenger cars since January 1974. In response to this opportunity to obtain field experience, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has established a nationwide reporting network and investigative capability for accidents involving air-bag equipped cars. The reporting criteria for accidents require that the car be towed as a result of the accident, or that a front-seat occupant was injured, or that bag deployment occurred. The principal objective is to obtain the injury-reducing effectiveness of this restraint system in the total accident environment. This environment encompasses “towaway” accidents resulting in bag deployment and non-deployment. Definitive results are expected at the conclusion of the study. This paper summarizes the experience during the first year of the program, during which time the rate of accident occurrence was far less than originally expected.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Child Safety Seats Based on Sled Tests

1987-11-01
872210
The injury reducing effectiveness of child safety seats in frontal crashes was evaluated, based on 36 frontal or oblique sled tests run with two or more GM three-year-old dummies in the simulated passenger compartment of a car. Unrestrained, correctly restrained and incorrectly restrained dummies were tested at the range of speeds where most nonminor injuries occur (15-35 mph). Accident data from NHTSA files were used to calibrate a relationship between the front-seat unrestrained dummies' HIC and unrestrained children's risk of serious head injuries; also between torso g's and the risk of serious torso injuries. These relationships were used to predict injury risk for the restrained children as a function of crash speed and to compare it to the risk for unrestrained children. The sled test analysis predicted that the 1984 mix of correctly and incorrectly used safety seats reduced serious injury risk by 40 percent relative to the unrestrained child, in frontal crashes.
Technical Paper

Occupant Injury Patterns in Crashes with Airbag Equipped Government Sponsored Cars

1987-11-01
872216
In 1983, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) initiated two air hag vehicle fleet programs. The objective was to demonstrate that both original equipment and retrofit air bag systems operate in vehicles as intended. As of July 1, 1987, the two fleets together have accumulated over 200 million miles. Data are presented for 112 crashes involving air bag deployment in these government sponsored fleet vehicles in service between 1984 and July 1, 1987. Of the 112 drivers involved in the crashes, 103 sustained either no injury or only minor (AIS 1)[1]1 injuries. Of the nine remaining cases, six were AIS 2 and three AIS 3. To date, the limited data indicate that the air bag deployed as expected in all frontal crashes severe enough to require occupant restraint beyond that provided by the vehicle interior. Additionally, in collisions in which the air bag did not deploy, the crashes were of such low severity that no actuation was expected and none took place.
Technical Paper

Antilock Systems for Air-Braked Vehicles

1992-01-01
890113
When a heavy vehicle driver (or in fact a driver of any vehicle) makes a brake application that is too "hard" for conditions - especially when the vehicle is lightly loaded or empty and/or the road is wet or slippery - he is likely to lock some or all of his wheels. Under these conditions, the tractor can jackknife or the trailer can swing out of its lane (if it is a combination-unit vehicle) or the truck can spin out (if it is a single-unit vehicle). Incorporation of an antilock brake system addresses the wheel lock and resultant control loss.
Technical Paper

Simulator Study of Heavy Truck Air Disc Brake Effectiveness During Emergency Braking

2008-04-14
2008-01-1498
In crashes between heavy trucks and light vehicles, most of the fatalities are the occupants of the light vehicle. A reduction in heavy truck stopping distance should lead to a reduction in the number of crashes, the severity of crashes, and consequently the numbers of fatalities and injuries. This study made use of the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS). NADS is a full immersion driving simulator used to study driver behavior as well as driver-vehicle reactions and responses. The vehicle dynamics model of the existing heavy truck on NADS had been modified with the creation of two additional brake models. The first was a modified S-cam (larger drums and shoes) and the second was an air-actuated disc brake system. A sample of 108 CDL-licensed drivers was split evenly among the simulations using each of the three braking systems. The drivers were presented with four different emergency stopping situations.
Technical Paper

Development of an Advanced ATD Thorax System for Improved Injury Assessment in Frontal Crash Environments

1992-11-01
922520
Injuries to the thorax and abdomen comprise a significant percentage of all occupant injuries in motor vehicle accidents. While the percentage of internal chest injuries is reduced for restrained front-seat occupants in frontal crashes, serious skeletal chest injuries and abdominal injuries can still result from interaction with steering wheels and restraint systems. This paper describes the design and performance of prototype components for the chest, abdomen, spine, and shoulders of the Hybrid III dummy that are under development to improve the capability of the Hybrid III frontal crash dummy with regard to restraint-system interaction and injury-sensing capability.
Technical Paper

Reverse Engineering Method for Developing Passenger Vehicle Finite Element Models

1999-03-01
1999-01-0083
A methodology to develop full-vehicle representation in the form of a finite element model for crashworthiness studies has been evolved. Detailed finite element models of two passenger vehicles - 1995 Chevy Lumina and 1994 Dodge Intrepid have been created. The models are intended for studying the vehicle’s behavior in full frontal, frontal offset and side impact collisions. These models are suitable for evaluating vehicle performance and occupant safety in a wide variety of impact situations, and are also suitable for part and material substitution studies to support PNGV (Partnership for New Generation of Vehicles) research. The geometry for these models was created by careful scanning and digitizing of the entire vehicle. High degree of detail is captured in the BIW, the front-end components and other areas involved in frontal, frontal offset and side impact on the driver’s side.
Technical Paper

Reducing the Risk of Driver Injury from Common Steering Control Devices in Frontal Collisions

1999-03-01
1999-01-0759
Steering control devices are used by people who have difficulty gripping the steering wheel. These devices have projections that may extend up to 14 cm toward the occupant. Testing indicated that contact with certain larger steering control devices with tall rigid projections could severely injure a driver in a frontal collision. In order to reduce this injury risk, an alternative, less injurious design was developed and tested. This design, which included replacing unyielding aluminum projections with compliant plastic ones, produced significantly lower peak contact pressure and less damage to the chest of a cadaver test subject, while maintaining the strength necessary to be useful.
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