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Journal Article

Method for Estimating Time to Collision at Braking in Real-World, Lead Vehicle Stopped Rear-End Crashes for Use in Pre-Crash System Design

2011-04-12
2011-01-0576
This study presents a method for determining the time to collision (TTC) at which a driver of the striking vehicle in a real-world, lead vehicle stopped (LVS) rear-end collision applied the brakes. The method employs real-world cases that were extracted from the National Automotive Sampling System / Crashworthiness Data System (NASS / CDS) years 2000 to 2009. Selected cases had an Event Data Recorder (EDR) recovered from the striking vehicle that contained pre-crash vehicle speed and brake application. Of 59 cases with complete EDR records, 12 cases (20%) of drivers appeared not to apply the brakes at all prior to the collision. The method was demonstrated using 47 rear-end cases in which there was driver braking. The average braking deceleration for those cases with sufficient vehicle speed information was found to be 0.52 g's. The average TTC that braking was initiated at was found to vary in the sample population from 1.1 to 1.4 seconds.
Journal Article

Linear Quadratic Game Theory Approach to Optimal Preview Control of Vehicle Lateral Motion

2011-04-12
2011-01-0963
Vehicle stability is maintained by proper interactions between the driver and vehicle stability control system. While driver describes the desired target path by commanding steering angle and acceleration/deceleration rates, vehicle stability controller tends to stabilize higher dynamics of the vehicle by correcting longitudinal, lateral, and roll accelerations. In this paper, a finite-horizon optimal solution to vehicle stability control is introduced in the presence of driver's dynamical decision making structure. The proposed concept is inspired by Nash strategy for exactly known systems with more than two players, in which driver, commanding steering wheel angle, and vehicle stability controller, applying compensated yaw moment through differential braking strategy, are defined as the dynamic players of the 2-player differential linear quadratic game.
Technical Paper

Model-Based Design of a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Control Strategy

2013-04-08
2013-01-1753
The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team (HEVT) of Virginia Tech is participating in the 2011-2014 EcoCAR 2 competition in which the team is tasked with re-engineering the powertrain of a GM donated vehicle. The primary goals of the competition are to reduce well to wheels (WTW) petroleum energy use (PEU) and reduce WTW greenhouse gas (GHG) and criteria emissions while maintaining performance, safety, and consumer acceptability. To meet these goals HEVT has designed a series parallel plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) with multiple modes of operation. This paper will first cover development of the control system architecture with a dual CAN bus structure to meet the requirements of the vehicle architecture. Next an online optimization control strategy to minimize fuel consumption will be developed. A simple vehicle plant model will then be used for software-in-the-loop (SIL) testing to improve fuel economy.
Technical Paper

Validation of a Driver Recovery Model Using Real-World Road Departure Cases

2013-04-08
2013-01-0723
Predicting driver response to road departure and attempted recovery is a challenging but essential need for estimating the benefits of active safety systems. One promising approach has been to mathematically model the driver steering and braking inputs during departure and recovery. The objective of this paper is to compare a model developed by Volvo, Ford, and UMRTI (VFU) through the Advanced Crash Avoidance Technologies (ACAT) Program against a set of real-world departure events. These departure events, collected by Hutchinson and Kennedy, include the vehicle's off road trajectory in 256 road departure events involving passenger vehicles. The VFU-ACAT model was exercised for left side road departures onto the median of a divided highway with a speed limit of 113 kph (70 mph). At low departure angles, the VFU-ACAT model underpredicted the maximum lateral and longitudinal distances when compared to the departure events measured by Hutchinson and Kennedy.
Journal Article

Using Objective Vehicle-Handling Metrics for Tire Performance Evaluation and Selection

2013-04-08
2013-01-0743
This paper outlines the development of a simulation-based process for assessing the handling performance of a given set of tires on a specific vehicle. Based on force and moment data, a Pacejka tire model was developed for each of the five sets of tires used in this study. To begin with, simple handling metrics including under-steer gradient were calculated using cornering stiffness derived from the Pacejka model. This Pacejka tire model was subsequently combined with a 3DOF non-linear vehicle model to create a simulation model in MATLAB/Simulink®. Other handling metrics were calculated based on simulation results to step and sinusoidal (General Motors Company) steering inputs. Calculated performance metrics include yaw velocity overshoot, yaw velocity response time, lateral acceleration response time and steering sensitivity. In addition to this, the phase lag in lateral acceleration and yaw rate of the vehicle to a sinusoidal steering input were also calculated.
Journal Article

Characterization of Lane Departure Crashes Using Event Data Recorders Extracted from Real-World Collisions

2013-04-08
2013-01-0730
Lane Departure Warning (LDW) is a production active safety system that can warn drivers of an unintended departure. Critical in the design of LDW and other departure countermeasures is understanding pre-crash driver behavior in crashes. The objective of this study was to gain insight into pre-crash driver behavior in departure crashes using Event Data Recorders (EDRs). EDRs are units equipped on many passenger vehicles that are able to store vehicle data, including pre-crash data in many cases. This study used 256 EDRs that were downloaded from GM vehicles involved in real-world lane departure collisions. The crashes were investigated as part of the NHTSA's NASS/CDS database years 2000 to 2011. Nearly half of drivers (47%) made little or no change to their vehicle speed prior to the collision and slightly fewer decreased their speed (43%). Drivers who did not change speed were older (median age 41) compared to those who decreased speed (median age 27).
Technical Paper

Development of Auditory Warning Signals for Mitigating Heavy Truck Rear-End Crashes

2010-10-05
2010-01-2019
Rear-end crashes involving heavy trucks occur with sufficient frequency that they are a cause of concern within regulatory agencies. In 2006, there were approximately 23,500 rear-end crashes involving heavy trucks which resulted in 135 fatalities. As part of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) goal of reducing the overall number of truck crashes, the Enhanced Rear Signaling (ERS) for Heavy Trucks project was developed to investigate methods to reduce or mitigate those crashes where a heavy truck has been struck from behind by another vehicle. Researchers also utilized what had been learned in the rear-end crash avoidance work with light vehicles that was conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) serving as the prime research organization. ERS crash countermeasures investigated included passive conspicuity markings, visual signals, and auditory signals.
Journal Article

Mitigating Heavy Truck Rear-End Crashes with the use of Rear-Lighting Countermeasures

2010-10-05
2010-01-2023
In 2006, there were approximately 23,500 rear-end crashes involving heavy trucks (i.e., gross vehicle weight greater than 4,536 kg). The Enhanced Rear Signaling (ERS) for Heavy Trucks project was developed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to investigate methods to reduce or mitigate those crashes where a heavy truck has been struck from behind by another vehicle. Visual warnings have been shown to be effective, assuming the following driver is looking directly at the warning display or has his/her eyes drawn to it. A visual warning can be placed where it is needed and it can be designed so that its meaning is nearly unambiguous. FMCSA contracted with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) to investigate potential benefit of additional rear warning-light configurations as rear-end crash countermeasures for heavy trucks.
Journal Article

Biomechanical Response of the Human Face and Corresponding Biofidelity of the FOCUS Headform

2010-04-12
2010-01-1317
In order to evaluate a human surrogate, the human and surrogate response must be defined. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the response of cadaver subjects to blunt impacts to the frontal bone, nasal bone and maxilla. Force-displacement corridors were developed based on the impact response of each region. Variation in the force-displacement response of the cadaver subjects due to the occurrence of fracture and fracture severity was demonstrated. Additionally, impacts were performed at matched locations using the Facial and Ocular CountermeasUre Safety (FOCUS) headform. The FOCUS headform is capable of measuring forces imposed onto facial structures using internal load cells. Based on the tests performed in this study, the nasal region of the FOCUS headform was found to be the most sensitive to impact location. Due to a wide range in geometrical characteristics, the nasal impact response varied significantly, resulting in wide corridors for human response.
Journal Article

Optimal Direct Yaw Controller Design for Vehicle Systems with Human Driver

2011-09-13
2011-01-2149
Dynamic game theory brings together different features that are keys to many situations in control design: optimization behavior, the presence of multiple agents/players, enduring consequences of decisions and robustness with respect to variability in the environment, etc. In the presented methodology, vehicle stability is represented by a cooperative dynamic/difference game such that its two agents (players), namely, the driver and the direct yaw controller (DYC), are working together to provide more stability to the vehicle system. While the driver provides the steering wheel control, the DYC control algorithm is obtained by the Nash game theory to ensure optimal performance as well as robustness to disturbances. The common two-degree of freedom (DOF) vehicle handling performance model is put into discrete form to develop the game equations of motion.
Journal Article

Anthropomimetic Traction Control: Quarter Car Model

2011-09-13
2011-01-2178
Human expert drivers have the unique ability to combine correlated sensory inputs with repetitive learning to build complex perceptive models of the vehicle dynamics as well as certain key aspects of the tire-ground interface. This ability offers significant advantages for navigating a vehicle through the spatial and temporal uncertainties in a given environment. Conventional traction control algorithms utilize measurements of wheel slip to help insure that the wheels do not enter into an excessive slip condition such as burnout. This approach sacrifices peak performance to ensure that the slip limits are generic enough suck that burnout is avoided on a variety of surfaces: dry pavement, wet pavement, snow, gravel, etc. In this paper, a novel approach to traction control is developed using an anthropomimetic control synthesis strategy.
Technical Paper

Target Population for Injury Reduction from Pre-Crash Systems

2010-04-12
2010-01-0463
Pre-Crash Systems (PCS) integrate the features of active and passive safety systems to reduce both crash and injury severity. Upon detection of an impending collision, PCS can provide an early warning to the driver and activate automatic braking to reduce the crash severity for the subject vehicle. PCS can also activate the seatbelt pretensioners prior to impact. This paper identifies the opportunities for injury prevention in crash types for which PCS can be potentially activated. These PCS applicable crash types include rear-end crashes, single vehicle crashes into objects (trees, poles, structures, parked vehicles), and head-on crashes. PCS can benefit the occupants of both the striking and struck vehicle. In this paper, the opportunity for injury reduction in the struck vehicle is also tabulated. The study is based upon the analysis of approximately 20,000 frontal crash cases extracted from NASS / CDS 1997-2008.
Journal Article

Location-Aware Adaptive Vehicle Dynamics System: Brake Modulation

2014-04-01
2014-01-0079
A Location-Aware Adaptive Vehicle Dynamics System (LAAVDS) is developed to assist the driver in maintaining vehicle handling capabilities through various driving maneuvers. An integral part of this System is an Intervention Strategy that uses a novel measure of handling capability, the Performance Margin, to assess the need to intervene. Through this strategy, the driver's commands are modulated to affect desired changes to the Performance Margin in a manner that is minimally intrusive to the driver's control authority. Real-time implementation requires the development of computationally efficient predictive vehicle models. This work develops one means to alter the future vehicle states: modulating the driver's brake commands. This control strategy must be considered in relationship to changes in the throttle commands. Three key elements of this strategy are developed in this work.
Journal Article

Location-Aware Adaptive Vehicle Dynamics System: Concept Development

2014-04-01
2014-01-0121
One seminal question that faces a vehicle's driver (either human or computer) is predicting the capability of the vehicle as it encounters upcoming terrain. A Location-Aware Adaptive Vehicle Dynamics (LAAVD) System is developed to assist the driver in maintaining vehicle handling capabilities through various driving maneuvers. In contrast to current active safety systems, this system is predictive rather than reactive. This work provides the conceptual groundwork for the proposed system. The LAAVD System employs a predictor-corrector method in which the driver's input commands (throttle, brake, steering) and upcoming driving environment (terrain, traffic, weather) are predicted. An Intervention Strategy uses a novel measure of handling capability, the Performance Margin, to assess the need to intervene. The driver's throttle and brake control are modulated to affect desired changes to the Performance Margin in a manner that is minimally intrusive to the driver's control authority.
Journal Article

Location-Aware Adaptive Vehicle Dynamics System: Throttle Modulation

2014-04-01
2014-01-0105
A Location-Aware Adaptive Vehicle Dynamics System (LAAVDS) is developed to assist the driver in maintaining vehicle handling capabilities through various driving maneuvers. An Intervention Strategy uses a novel measure of handling capability, the Performance Margin, to assess the need to intervene. The driver's commands are modulated to affect desired changes to the Performance Margin in a manner that is minimally intrusive to the driver's control authority. Real-time implementation requires the development of computationally efficient predictive vehicle models which is the focus of this work. This work develops one means to alter the future vehicle states: modulating the driver's throttle commands. First, changes to the longitudinal force are translated to changes in engine torque based on the current operating state (torque and speed) of the engine.
Journal Article

Fleetwide Safety Benefits of Production Forward Collision and Lane Departure Warning Systems

2014-04-01
2014-01-0166
Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems are two active safety systems that have recently been added to the U.S. New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) evaluation. Vehicles that pass confirmation tests may advertise the presence of FCW and LDW alongside the vehicle's star safety rating derived from crash tests. This paper predicts the number of crashes and injured drivers that could be prevented if all vehicles in the U.S. fleet were equipped with production FCW and/or LDW systems. Models of each system were developed using the test track data collected for 16 FCW and 10 LDW systems by the NCAP confirmation tests. These models were used in existing fleetwide benefits models developed for FCW and LDW. The 16 FCW systems evaluated could have potentially prevented between 9% and 53% of all rear-end collisions and prevented between 19% and 60% of injured (MAIS2+) drivers. Earlier warning times prevented more warnings and injuries.
Journal Article

Battery Charge Balance and Correction Issues in Hybrid Electric Vehicles for Individual Phases of Certification Dynamometer Driving Cycles as Used in EPA Fuel Economy Label Calculations

2012-04-16
2012-01-1006
This study undertakes an investigation of the effect of battery charge balance in hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) on EPA fuel economy label values. EPA's updated method was fully implemented in 2011 and uses equations which weight the contributions of fuel consumption results from multiple dynamometer tests to synthesize city and highway estimates that reflect average U.S. driving patterns. For the US06 and UDDS cycles, the test results used in the computation come from individual phases within the overall certification driving cycles. This methodology causes additional complexities for hybrid vehicles, because although they are required to be charge-balanced over the course of a full drive cycle, they may have net charge or discharge within the individual phases. As a result, the fuel consumption value used in the label value calculation can be skewed.
Technical Paper

Robust Optimal Control of Vehicle Lateral Motion with Driver-in-the-Loop

2012-09-24
2012-01-1903
Dynamic “Game Theory” brings together different features that are keys to many situations in control design: optimization behavior, the presence of multiple agents/players, enduring consequences of decisions and robustness with respect to variability in the environment, etc. In previous studies, it was shown that vehicle stability can be represented by a cooperative dynamic/difference game such that its two agents (players), namely, the driver and the vehicle stability controller (VSC), are working together to provide more stability to the vehicle system. While the driver provides the steering wheel control, the VSC command is obtained by the Nash game theory to ensure optimal performance as well as robustness to disturbances. The common two-degree of freedom (DOF) vehicle handling performance model is put into discrete form to develop the game equations of motion. This study focus on the uncertainty in the inputs, and more specifically, the driver's steering input.
Technical Paper

Sensitivity of Preferred Driving Postures and Determination of Core Seat Track Adjustment Ranges

2007-06-12
2007-01-2471
With advances in virtual prototyping, accurate digital modeling of driving posture is regarded as a fundamental step in the design of ergonomic driver-seat-cabin systems. Extensive work on driving postures has been carried out focusing on the measurement and prediction of driving postures and the determination of comfortable joint angle ranges. However, studies on postural sensitivity are scarce. The current study investigated whether a driver-selected posture actually represents the most preferred one, by comparing the former with ratings of postures selected at 20 predefined places around the original hip joint center (HJC). An experiment was undertaken in a lab setting, using two distinctive driving package geometries: one for a sedan and the other for an SUV. The 20 postural ratings were compared with that of the initial user-selected position.
Technical Paper

Predicting Driving Postures and Seated Positions in SUVs Using a 3D Digital Human Modeling Tool

2008-06-17
2008-01-1856
3D digital human modeling (DHM) tools for vehicle packaging facilitate ergonomic design and evaluation based on anthropometry, comfort, and force analysis. It is now possible to quickly predict postures and positions for drivers with selected anthropometry based on ergonomics principles. Despite their powerful visual representation technology for human movements and postures, these tools are still questioned with regard to the validity of the output they provide, especially when predictions are made for different populations. Driving postures and positions of two populations (i.e. North Americans and Koreans) were measured in actual and mock-up SUVs to investigate postural differences and evaluate the results provided by a DHM tool. No difference in driving postures was found between different stature groups within the same population. Between the two populations, however, preferred angles differed for three joints (i.e., ankle, thigh, and hip).
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