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Technical Paper

Repeatability of the Tilt-Table Test Method

Tilt-table testing is one means of quantifying the static roll stability of highway vehicles. By this technique, a test vehicle is subjected to a physical situation analogous to that experienced in a steady state turn. Although the analogy is not perfect, the simplicity and fidelity of the method make it an attractive means for estimating static rollover threshold. The NHTSA has suggested the tilt-table method as one means of regulating the roll stability properties of light trucks and utility vehicles. One consideration in evaluating the suitability of any test method for regulatory use is repeatability, both within and among testing facilities. As a first step toward evaluating the repeatability of the tilt-table method, an experimental study examining the sensitivity of tilt-table test results to variables associated with methodology and facility was conducted by UMTRI for the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association. This paper reports some of the findings of that study.
Technical Paper

Variability in Center of Gravity Height Measurement

A round-robin center of gravity height measurement study was conducted to assess current practice in the measurement of the vertical position of the center of gravity (c.g.) of light truck-type vehicles. The study was performed by UMTRI for the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association. The laboratories participating in the study were those of Chrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The primary objectives of this study were (i) to determine to what extent the differing experimental procedures used by the participating laboratories at the time of the study result in significant differences in the measured vertical position of the center of mass of light truck-type vehicles, and (ii) to gain insight into the physical causes of such differences.
Technical Paper

The Influence of Impact Energy and Direction on Thoracic Response

A test series using unembalmed cadavers was conducted to investigate thoracic response differences in lateral impacts between high energy (rib fractures produced) and low energy (no rib fractures produced) testing and also the response to low energy impacts for different impact directions (frontal, 45°, and lateral). Five of the test subjects were instrumented with a nine-accelerometer package and an eighteen-accelerometer array to measure thoracic response. Seven of the test subjects were instrumented with a triaxial accelerometer on the head and a six-accelerometer array to measure thoracic response. Impact events were performed with either the UMTRI pendulum impact device or the UMTRI pneumatic impact device. The subject was struck with a free-traveling mass (25 or 56 kg) which was fitted with either a 15 cm round or 20 cm square rigid metal surface.
Technical Paper

ASPECT Manikin Applications and Measurements for Design, Audit, and Benchmarking

The ASPECT (Automotive Seat and Package Evaluation and Comparison Tools) manikin provides new capabilities for vehicle and seat measurement while maintaining continuity with previous practices. This paper describes how the manikin is used in the development of new designs, the audit verification of build, and in benchmarking competitive vehicles and seats. The measurement procedures are discussed in detail, along with the seat and package dimensions that are associated with the new tool.
Technical Paper

Design and Development of the ASPECT Manikin

The primary objective of the ASPECT (Automotive Seat and Package Evaluation and Comparison Tools) program was to develop a new generation of the SAE J826 H-point manikin. The new ASPECT manikin builds on the long-term success of the H-point manikin while adding new measurement capability and improved ease of use. The ASPECT manikin features an articulated torso linkage to measure lumbar support prominence; new contours based on human subject data; a new weighting scheme; lightweight, supplemental thigh, leg, and shoe segments; and a simpler, user-friendly installation procedure. This paper describes the new manikin in detail, including the rationale and motivation for the design features. The ASPECT manikin maintains continuity with the current SAE J826 H-point manikin in important areas while providing substantial new measurement capability.
Technical Paper

Automobile Occupant Posture Prediction for Use with Human Models

A new method of predicting automobile occupant posture is presented. The Cascade Prediction Model approach combines multiple independent predictions of key postural degrees of freedom with inverse kinematics guided by data-based heuristics. The new model, based on posture data collected in laboratory mockups and validated using data from actual vehicles, produces accurate posture predictions for a wide range of passenger car interior geometries. Inputs to the model include vehicle package dimensions, seat characteristics, and occupant anthropometry. The Cascade Prediction Model was developed to provide accurate posture prediction for use with any human CAD model, and is applicable to many vehicle design and safety assessment applications.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Methods for Predicting Automobile Driver Posture

Recent research in the ASPECT (Automotive Seat and Package Evaluation and Comparison Tools) program has led to the development of a new method for automobile driver posture prediction, known as the Cascade Model. The Cascade Model uses a sequential series of regression functions and inverse kinematics to predict automobile occupant posture. This paper presents an alternative method for driver posture prediction using data-guided kinematic optimization. The within-subject conditional distributions of joint angles are used to infer the internal cost functions that guide tradeoffs between joints in adapting to different vehicle configurations. The predictions from the two models are compared to in-vehicle driving postures.
Technical Paper

Modeling Population Distributions of Subjective Ratings

Most human figure models used in ergonomic analyses present postural comfort ratings based on joint angles, and present a single comfort score for the whole body or on a joint-by-joint basis. The source data for these ratings is generally derived from laboratory studies that link posture to ratings. Lacking in many of these models is a thorough treatment of the distribution of ratings for the population of users. Information about ratings distributions is necessary to make cost-effective tradeoffs when design changes affect subjective responses. This paper presents experimental and analytic methods used to develop distribution models for incorporating subjective rating data in ergonomic assessments.
Technical Paper

Practical Aspects of Prototyping Instrument Clusters

This paper describes an ongoing effort to develop computer-simulated instrumentation for the UMTRI Driver Interface Research Simulator. The speedometer, tachometer, engine and fuel gauges, along with warning lights are back projected onto a screen in front of the driver. The image is generated by a Macintosh running LabVIEW. Simulated instrumentation (instead of a production cluster) was provided so that new display designs can be rapidly generated and tested. This paper addresses the requirements for prototyping software, the advantages and disadvantages of the packages available, and the UMTRI implementation of the software, and its incorporation into the driving simulator.
Technical Paper

Distribution of Automobile Trip Durations for Studies of Seat Comfort

Data from the 1990 U.S. Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey were analyzed to determine the distribution of trip durations and sitting times for use in the design of automobile seat comfort studies. Two measures relating to the incidence and prevalence of long-term sitting were calculated and presented for the U.S. population and various subgroups. The information can be used to select an appropriate test duration for comfort studies. The subgroup data allow the test duration to be tailored for specific market segments.
Technical Paper

Development of an Improved Driver Eye Position Model

SAE Recommended Practice J941 describes the eyellipse, a statistical representation of driver eye locations, that is used to facilitate design decisions regarding vehicle interiors, including the display locations, mirror placement, and headspace requirements. Eye-position data collected recently at University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) suggest that the SAE J941 practice could be improved. SAE J941 currently uses the SgRP location, seat-track travel (L23), and design seatback angle (L40) as inputs to the eyellipse model. However, UMTRI data show that the characteristics of empirical eyellipses can be predicted more accurately using seat height, steering-wheel position, and seat-track rise. A series of UMTRI studies collected eye-location data from groups of 50 to 120 drivers with statures spanning over 97 percent of the U.S. population. Data were collected in thirty-three vehicles that represent a wide range of vehicle geometry.