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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

Assessment of Heavy Vehicle EDR Technologies

Heavy-vehicle event data recorders (HVEDRs) provide a source of temporal vehicle data just prior to, during, and for a short period after, an event. In the 1990s, heavy-vehicle (HV) engine manufacturers expanded the capabilities of engine control units (ECU) and engine control modules (ECM) to include the ability to record and store small amounts of parametric vehicle data. This advanced capability has had a significant impact on vehicle safety by helping law enforcement, engineers, and researchers reconstruct events of a vehicle crash and understand the details surrounding that vehicle crash. Today, EDR technologies have been incorporated into a wide range of heavy vehicle (HV) safety systems (e.g., crash mitigation systems, air bag control systems, and behavioral monitoring systems). However, the adoption of EDR technologies has not been uniform across all classes of HVs or their associated vehicle systems.
Technical Paper

An Adaptive Vehicle Stability Control Algorithm Based on Tire Slip-Angle Estimation

Active safety systems have become an essential part of today's vehicles including SUVs and LTVs. Although they have advanced in many aspects, there are still many areas that they can be improved. Especially being able to obtain information about tire-vehicle states (e.g. tire slip-ratio, tire slip-angle, tire forces, tire-road friction coefficient), would be significant due to the key role tires play in providing directional stability and control. This paper first presents the implementation strategy for a dynamic tire slip-angle estimation methodology using a combination of a tire based sensor and an observer system. The observer utilizes two schemes, first of which employs a Sliding Mode Observer to obtain lateral and longitudinal tire forces. The second step then utilizes the force information and outputs the tire slip-angle using a Luenberger observer and linearized tire model equations.
Journal Article

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

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.
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

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

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

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).
Technical Paper

Survivability of Event Data Recorder Data in Exposure to High Temperature, Submersion, and Static Crush

Event data recorder (EDR) data are currently only required to survive the crash tests specified by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 208 and FMVSS 214. Although these crash tests are severe, motor vehicles are also exposed to more severe crashes, fire, and submersion. Little is known about whether current EDR data are capable of surviving these events. The objective of this study was to determine the limits of survivability for EDR data for realistic car crash conditions involving heat, submersion, and static crush. Thirty-one (31) EDRs were assessed in this study: 4 in the pilot tests and 27 in the production tests. The production tests were conducted on model year (MY) 2011-2012 EDRs enclosed in plastic, metal, or a combination of both materials. Each enclosure type was exposed to 9 tests. The high temperature tests were divided into 3 oven testing conditions: 100°C, 150°C, and 200°C.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Event Data Recorder Survivability in Crashes with Fire, Immersion, and High Delta-V

Event data recorders (EDRs) must survive regulatory frontal and side compliance crash tests if installed within a car or light truck built on or after September 1, 2012. Although previous research has shown that EDR data are surviving these tests, little is known about whether EDRs are capable of surviving collisions of higher delta-v, or crashes involving vehicle fire or immersion. The goal of this study was to determine the survivability of light vehicle EDRs in real world fire, immersion, and high change in velocity (delta-v) cases. The specific objective was to identify the frequency of these extreme events and to determine the EDR data download outcome when subject to damage caused by these events. This study was performed using three crash databases: the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), the National Automotive Sampling System / Crashworthiness Data System (NASS/CDS), and the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey (NMVCCS).
Technical Paper

Investigation of Traumatic Brain Injuries Using the Next Generation of Simulated Injury Monitor (SIMon) Finite Element Head Model

The objective of this study was to investigate potential for traumatic brain injuries (TBI) using a newly developed, geometrically detailed, finite element head model (FEHM) within the concept of a simulated injury monitor (SIMon). The new FEHM is comprised of several parts: cerebrum, cerebellum, falx, tentorium, combined pia-arachnoid complex (PAC) with cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF), ventricles, brainstem, and parasagittal blood vessels. The model's topology was derived from human computer tomography (CT) scans and then uniformly scaled such that the mass of the brain represents the mass of a 50th percentile male's brain (1.5 kg) with the total head mass of 4.5 kg. The topology of the model was then compared to the preliminary data on the average topology derived from Procrustes shape analysis of 59 individuals. Material properties of the various parts were assigned based on the latest experimental data.
Technical Paper

Upper Extremity Interaction With a Helicopter Side Airbag: Injury Criteria for Dynamic Hyperextension of the Female Elbow Joint

This paper describes a three part analysis to characterize the interaction between the female upper extremity and a helicopter cockpit side airbag system and to develop dynamic hyperextension injury criteria for the female elbow joint. Part I involved a series of 10 experiments with an original Army Black Hawk helicopter side airbag. A 5th percentile female Hybrid III instrumented upper extremity was used to demonstrate side airbag upper extremity loading. Two out of the 10 tests resulted in high elbow bending moments of 128 Nm and 144 Nm. Part II included dynamic hyperextension tests on 24 female cadaver elbow joints. The energy source was a drop tower utilizing a three-point bending configuration to apply elbow bending moments matching the previously conducted side airbag tests. Post-test necropsy showed that 16 of the 24 elbow joint tests resulted in injuries.
Technical Paper

Analysis of upper extremity response under side air bag loading

Computer simulations, dummy experiments with a new enhanced upper extremity, and small female cadaver experiments were used to analyze the small female upper extremity response under side air bag loading. After establishing the initial position, three tests were performed with the 5th percentile female hybrid III dummy, and six experiments with small female cadaver subjects. A new 5th percentile female enhanced upper extremity was developed for the dummy experiments that included a two-axis wrist load cell in addition to the existing six-axis load cells in both the forearm and humerus. Forearm pronation was also included in the new dummy upper extremity to increase the biofidelity of the interaction with the handgrip. Instrumentation for both the cadaver and dummy tests included accelerometers and magnetohydrodynamic angular rate sensors on the forearm, humerus, upper and lower spine.
Technical Paper

Comparison of ATD to PMHS Response in the Under-Body Blast Environment

A blast buck (Accelerative Loading Fixture, or ALF) was developed for studying underbody blast events in a laboratory-like setting. It was designed to provide a high-magnitude, high-rate, vertical loading environment for cadaver and dummy testing. It consists of a platform with a reinforcing cage that supports adjustable-height rigid seats for two crew positions. The platform has a heavy frame with a deformable floor insert. Fourteen tests were conducted using fourteen PMHS (post mortem human surrogates) and the Hybrid III ATD (Anthropomorphic Test Device). Tests were conducted at two charge levels: enhanced and mild. The surrogates were tested with and without PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), and in two different postures: nominal (knee angle of 90°) and obtuse (knee angle of 120°). The ALF reproduces damage in the PMHS commensurate with injuries experienced in theater, with the most common damage being to the pelvis and ankle.
Technical Paper

Vehicle Design Analysis and Validation for the Equinox REVLSE E85 Hybrid Electric Vehicle

The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team of Virginia Tech (HEVT) is participating in the 2005 - 2007 Challenge X advanced technology vehicle competition series, sponsored by General Motors Corporation, the U.S. Department of Energy, and Argonne National Lab. This report documents the Equinox REVLSE (Renewable Energy Vehicle, the Larsen Special Edition) design and specifies how it meets the Vehicle Technical Specifications (VTS) set by Challenge X and HEVT through simulation and test results. The report also documents the vehicle control development process, specifies the control code generation, demonstrates an analysis of hybrid powertrain losses, and presents the REVLSE vehicle balance in its intended market.
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

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

Validation of Event Data Recorders in Side-Impact Crash Tests

This study evaluated the accuracy of 75 Event Data Recorders (EDRs) extracted from model year 2010-2012 Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, and Toyota vehicles subjected to side-impact moving deformable barrier crash tests. The test report and vehicle-mounted accelerometers provided reference values to assess the EDR reported change in lateral velocity (delta-v), seatbelt buckle status, and airbag deployment status. Our results show that EDRs underreported the reference lateral delta-v in the vast majority of cases, mimicking the errors and conclusions found in some longitudinal EDR accuracy studies. For maximum lateral delta-v, the average arithmetic error was −3.59 kph (−13.8%) and the average absolute error was 4.05 kph (15.9%). All EDR reports that recorded a seatbelt buckle status data element correctly recorded the buckle status at both the driver and right front passenger locations.