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Technical Paper

A Multi-Modality Image Data Collection Protocol for Full Body Finite Element Model Development

This study outlines a protocol for image data collection acquired from human volunteers. The data set will serve as the foundation of a consolidated effort to develop the next generation full-body Finite Element Analysis (FEA) models for injury prediction and prevention. The geometry of these models will be based off the anatomy of four individuals meeting extensive prescreening requirements and representing the 5th and 50th percentile female, and the 50th and 95th percentile male. Target values for anthropometry are determined by literature sources. Because of the relative strengths of various modalities commonly in use today in the clinical and engineering worlds, a multi-modality approach is outlined. This approach involves the use of Computed Tomography (CT), upright and closed-bore Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and external anthropometric measurements.
Technical Paper

Performance Characterization and Modeling of Shim Stack Assemblies in Vehicle Shock Absorbers

A detailed study of the effects of shim stack assemblies on performance of hydraulic mono-tube vehicle shock absorbers is presented. Currently, shim stacks are modeled as blow-off valves in hydraulic models of shock absorbers. Using this simplification, important material and geometrical properties of shim stacks cannot be studied and their effects cannot be understood on overall damper performance. In this paper, shim stack deflection is investigated and a mathematical model is presented for shim stack deflection. This model is then incorporated into the mathematical model of a hydraulic damper and various properties of shim stack and their effects on damper characteristics are studied. Energy and variational methods were used to develop the mathematical model of the shim stack. The mathematical model also takes into account the sliding effects of the shims on each other when the shim stack is deflected.
Technical Paper

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

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

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.
Technical Paper

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

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

Utilization of Finite Element Analysis to Develop Automotive Components

The finite element method (FEM) is used daily in the automotive industry for such purposes as reducing the time of product development and improving the design based on analysis results, followed by later validation by tests in the laboratory and on the proving ground. This paper will present some of the methodology used to develop automotive components by finite element analysis, including procedures to specialize FEM models to obtain quantitative and qualitative results for systems such as body, chassis, and suspension components, as well as validation of the models by experimental data.
Technical Paper

EcoRouting Strategy Using Variable Acceleration Rate Synthesis Methodology

This paper focuses on the analysis of an EcoRouting system with minimum and maximum number of conditional stops. The effect on energy consumption with the presence and absence of road-grade information along a route is also studied. An EcoRouting system has been developed that takes in map information and converts it to a graph of nodes containing route information such as speed limits, stop lights, stop signs and road grade. A variable acceleration rate synthesis methodology is also introduced in this paper that takes into consideration distance, acceleration, cruise speed and jerk rate as inputs to simulate driver behavior on a given route. A simulation study is conducted in the town of Blacksburg, Virginia, USA to analyze the effects of EcoRouting in different driving conditions and to examine the effects of road grade and stop lights on energy consumption.
Technical Paper

A Two-Step Combustion Model of Iso-Octane for 3D CFD Combustion Simulation in SI Engines

The application of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for three-dimensional (3D) combustion analysis coupled with detailed chemistry in engine development is hindered by its expensive computational cost. Chemistry computation may occupy as much as 90% of the total computational cost. In the present paper, a new two-step iso-octane combustion model was developed for spark-ignited (SI) engine to maximize computational efficiency while maintaining acceptable accuracy. Starting from the model constants of an existing global combustion model, the new model was developed using an approach based on sensitivity analysis to approximate the results of a reference skeletal mechanism. The present model involves only five species and two reactions and utilizes only one uniform set of model constants. The validation of the new model was performed using shock tube and real SI engine cases.
Technical Paper

Animal-Vehicle Encounter Naturalistic Driving Data Collection and Photogrammetric Analysis

Animal-vehicle collision (AVC) is a significant safety issue on American roads. Each year approximately 1.5 million AVCs occur in the U.S., the majority of them involving deer. The increasing use of cameras and radar on vehicles provides opportunities for prevention or mitigation of AVCs, particularly those involving deer or other large animals. Developers of such AVC avoidance/mitigation systems require information on the behavior of encountered animals, setting characteristics, and driver response in order to design effective countermeasures. As part of a larger study, naturalistic driving data were collected in high AVC incidence areas using 48 participant-owned vehicles equipped with data acquisition systems (DAS). Continuous driving data including forward video, location information, and vehicle kinematics were recorded. The respective 11TB dataset contains 35k trips covering 360K driving miles.
Technical Paper

Simulation and Bench Testing of a GM 5.3L V8 Engine

The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team of Virginia Tech (HEVT) is currently modeling and bench testing powertrain components for a parallel plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). The custom powertrain is being implemented in a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro for the EcoCAR 3 competition. The engine, a General Motors (GM) L83 5.3L V8 with Active Fuel Management (AFM) from a 2014 Silverado, is of particular importance for vehicle integration and functionality. The engine is one of two torque producing components in the powertrain. AFM allows the engine to deactivate four of the eight cylinders which is essential to meet competition goals to reduce petroleum energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. In-vehicle testing is performed with a 2014 Silverado on a closed course to understand the criteria to activate AFM. Parameters required for AFM activation are monitored by recording vehicle CAN bus traffic.
Technical Paper

Estimating Benefits of LDW Systems Applied to Cross-Centerline Crashes

Objective: Opposite-direction crashes can be extremely severe because opposing vehicles often have high relative speeds. The most common opposite direction crash scenario occurs when a driver departs their lane driving over the centerline and impacts a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction. This cross-centerline crash mode accounts for only 4% of all non-junction non-interchange crashes but 25% of serious injury crashes of the same type. One potential solution to this problem is the Lane Departure Warning (LDW) system which can monitor the position of the vehicle and provide a warning to the driver if they detect the vehicle is moving out of the lane. The objective of this study was to determine the potential benefits of deploying LDW systems fleet-wide for avoidance of cross-centerline crashes. Methods: In order to estimate the potential benefits of LDW for reduction of cross-centerline crashes, a comprehensive crash simulation model was developed.
Technical Paper

Methodology for Estimating the Benefits of Lane Departure Warnings using Event Data Recorders

Road departures are one of the most deadly crash modes, accounting for nearly one third of all crash fatalities in the US. Lane departure warning (LDW) systems can warn the driver of the departure and lane departure prevention (LDP) systems can steer the vehicle back into the lane. One purpose of these systems is to reduce the quantity of road departure crashes. This paper presents a method to predict the maximum effectiveness of these systems. Thirty-nine (39) real world crashes from the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS) Crashworthiness Data System (CDS) database were reconstructed using pre-crash velocities downloaded for each case from the vehicle event data recorder (EDR). The pre-crash velocities were mapped onto the vehicle crash trajectory. The simulations assumed a warning was delivered when the lead tire crossed the lane line. Each case was simulated twice with driver reaction times of 0.38 s and 1.36 s after which time the driver began steering back toward the road.
Technical Paper

Preliminary Estimates of Near Side Crash Injury Risk in Best Performing Passenger Vehicles

The goal of this paper is to estimate near-side injury risk in vehicles with the best side impact performance in the U.S. New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). The longer-term goal is to predict the incidence of crashes and injury outcomes in the U.S. in a future fleet of the 2025-time frame after current active and passive safety countermeasures are fully implemented. Our assumption was that, by 2025, all new vehicles will have side impact passive safety performance equivalent to current U.S. NCAP five star ratings. The analysis was based on real-world crashes extracted from case years 2010-2015 in the National Automotive Sampling System / Crashworthiness Data System (NASS/CDS) in which front-row occupants of late-model vehicles (Model Year 2011+) were exposed to a near-side crash.
Technical Paper

Advanced Castings Made Possible Through Additive Manufacturing

Binder jetting of sand molds and cores for metal casting provides a scalable and efficient means of producing metal components with complex geometric features made possible only by Additive Manufacturing. Topology optimization software that can mathematically determine the optimum placement of material for a given set of design requirements has been available for quite some time. However, the optimized designs are often not manufacturable using standard metal casting processes due to undercuts, backdraft and other issues. With the advent of binder-based 3D printing technology, sand molds and cores can be produced to make these optimized designs as metal castings.
Technical Paper

Has Electronic Stability Control Reduced Rollover Crashes?

Vehicle rollovers are one of the more severe crash modes in the US - accounting for 32% of all passenger vehicle occupant fatalities annually. One design enhancement to help prevent rollovers is Electronic Stability Control (ESC) which can reduce loss of control and thus has great promise to enhance vehicle safety. The objectives of this research were (1) to estimate the effectiveness of ESC in reducing the number of rollover crashes and (2) to identify cases in which ESC did not prevent the rollover to potentially advance additional ESC development. All passenger vehicles and light trucks and vans that experienced a rollover from 2006 to 2015 in the National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Database System (NASS/CDS) were analyzed. Each rollover was assigned a crash scenario based on the crash type, pre-crash maneuver, and pre-crash events.
Technical Paper

Long-Term Evolution of Straight Crossing Path Crash Occurrence in the U.S. Fleet: The Potential of Intersection Active Safety Systems

Intersection collisions currently account for approximately one-fifth of all crashes and one-sixth of all fatal crashes in the United States. One promising method of mitigating these crashes and fatalities is to develop and install Intersection Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (I-ADAS) on vehicles. When an intersection crash is imminent, the I-ADAS system can either warn the driver or apply automated braking. The potential safety benefit of I-ADAS has been previously examined based on real-world cases drawn from the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey (NMVCCS). However, these studies made the idealized assumption of full installation in all vehicles of a future fleet. The objective of this work was to predict the reduction in Straight Crossing Path (SCP) crashes due to I-ADAS systems in the United States over time. The proportion of new vehicles with I-ADAS was modeled using Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) fleet penetration predictions.
Technical Paper

Unconventional Truck Chassis Design with Multi-Functional Cross Members

An unconventional conceptual design of truck chassis with multi-functional cross-members is proposed, and an optimization framework is developed to optimize its structure to minimize mass while satisfying stiffness and modal frequency constraints. The side rails are C-sectional channels of variable height and were divided into six sections, each with different thickness distribution for the flanges and the web. The gearbox cross-member and the intermediate cross-members are compressed-air cylinders, and hence they act as multi-functional components. The dimensions and thickness of the side rails and the air-tank cross members are defined by a set of parameters which are considered as design variables in the optimization problem. The structure consists of three additional fixed cross-members which are modeled using beam elements. The limits of the design variables are decided while considering manufacturing limits.
Technical Paper

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

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

Reheating and Sterilization Technology for Food, Waste and Water: Design and Development Considerations for Package and Enclosure

Long-duration space missions require high-quality, nutritious foods, which will need reheating to serving temperature, or sterilization on an evolved planetary base. The package is generally considered to pose a disposal problem after use. We are in the process of development of a dual-use package wherein the food may be rapidly reheated in situ using the technology of ohmic heating. We plan to make the container reusable, so that after food consumption, the package is reused to contain and sterilize waste. This approach will reduce Equivalent System Mass (ESM) by using a compact heating technology, and reducing mass requirements for waste storage. Preliminary tests of the package within a specially-designed ohmic heating enclosure show that ISS menu item could easily be heated using ohmic heating technology. Mathematical models for heat transfer were used to optimize the layout of electrodes to ensure uniform heating of the material within the package.
Technical Paper

Probability-Based Methods for Fatigue Analysis

Modern fatigue analysis techniques, that can provide reliable estimates of the service performance of components and structures, are finding increasing use in vehicle development programs. A major objective of such efforts is the prediction of the field performance of a fleet of vehicles as influenced by the host of design, manufacturing, and performance variables. An approach to this complex problem, based on the incorporation of probability theory in established life prediction methods, is presented. In this way, quantitative estimates of the lifetime distribution of a population are obtained based on anticipated, or specified, variations in component geometry, material processing sequences, and service loading. The application of this approach is demonstrated through a case study of an automotive transmission component.