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Technical Paper

Adaptation of TruckSim Models to Simulate Experimental Heavy Truck Hard Braking Test Data Under Various Levels of Brake Disablement

This research focuses on the development and performance of analytical models to simulate a tractor-semitrailer in straight-ahead braking. The simulations were modified and tuned to simulate full-treadle braking with all brakes functioning correctly, as well as the behavior of the tractor-semitrailer rig under full braking with selected brakes disabled. The models were constructed in TruckSim and based on a tractor-semitrailer used in dry braking performance testing. The full-scale vehicle braking research was designed to define limits for engineering estimates on stopping distance when Class 8 air-braked vehicles experience partial degradation of the foundation brake system. In the full scale testing, stops were conducted from 30 mph and 60 mph, with the combination loaded to 80,000 lbs (gross combined weight or GCW), half payload, and with the tractor-semitrailer unladen (lightly loaded vehicle weight, or LLVW).
Technical Paper

Validation and Enhancement of a Heavy Truck Simulation Model with an Electronic Stability Control Model

Validation was performed on an existing heavy truck vehicle dynamics computer model with roll stability control (RSC). The first stage in this validation was to compare the response of the simulated tractor to that of the experimental tractor. By looking at the steady-state gains of the tractor, adjustments were made to the model to more closely match the experimental results. These adjustments included suspension and steering compliances, as well as auxiliary roll moment modifications. Once the validation of the truck tractor was completed for the current configuration, the existing 53-foot box trailer model was added to the vehicle model. The next stage in experimental validation for the current tractor-trailer model was to incorporate suspension compliances and modify the auxiliary roll stiffness to more closely model the experimental response of the vehicle. The final validation stage was to implement some minor modifications to the existing RSC model.
Journal Article

Integration of a Torsional Stiffness Model into an Existing Heavy Truck Vehicle Dynamics Model

Torsional stiffness properties were developed for both a 53-foot box trailer and a 28-foot flatbed control trailer based on experimental measurements. In order to study the effect of torsional stiffness on the dynamics of a heavy truck vehicle dynamics computer model, static maneuvers were conducted comparing different torsional stiffness values to the original rigid vehicle model. Stiffness properties were first developed for a truck tractor model. It was found that the incorporation of a torsional stiffness model had only a minor effect on the overall tractor response for steady-state maneuvers up to 0.4 g lateral acceleration. The effect of torsional stiffness was also studied for the trailer portion of the existing model.
Technical Paper

Simulation Results from a Model of a Tractor Trailer Vehicle Equipped with Roll Stability Control

In 2007, a software model of a Roll Stability Control (RSC) system was developed based on test data for a Volvo tractor at NHTSA's Vehicle Research and Test Center (VRTC). This model was designed to simulate the RSC performance of a commercially available Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system. The RSC model was developed in Simulink and integrated with the available braking model (TruckSim) for the truck. The Simulink models were run in parallel with the vehicle dynamics model of a truck in TruckSim. The complete vehicle model including the RSC system model is used to simulate the behavior of the actual truck and determine the capability of the RSC system in preventing rollovers under different conditions. Several simulations were performed to study the behavior of the model developed and to compare its performance with that of an actual test vehicle equipped with RSC.
Technical Paper

Development of a Method to Assess Vehicle Stability and Controllability in Open and Closed-Loop Maneuvers

This paper describes a method to evaluate vehicle stability and controllability when the vehicle operates in the nonlinear range of lateral dynamics. The method is applied to open-loop steering maneuvers as well as closed-loop path-following maneuvers. Although path-following maneuvers are more representative of real world driving intent, they are usually considered inappropriate for objective assessment because of repeatability and accuracy issues. The automated test driver (ATD) can perform path-following maneuvers accurately and with good repeatability. This paper discusses the usefulness of application of the automated test drivers and path-following maneuvers. The dynamic mode of instability is not directly obtained from measurable outputs such as yawrate and lateral acceleration as in open-loop maneuvers. A few metrics are defined to quantify deviation from desired or ideal behavior in terms of observed “unexpected” lateral force and moment.
Technical Paper

A Study of Jackknife Stability of Class VIII Vehicles with Multiple Trailers with ABS Disc/Drum Brakes

This study investigated the jackknife stability of Class VIII double tractor-trailer combination vehicles that had mixed braking configurations between the tractor and trailers and dolly (e.g. ECBS disc brakes on the tractor and pneumatic drum brakes on the trailers and dolly). Brake-in-turn maneuvers were performed with varying vehicle loads and surface conditions. Conditions with ABS ON for the entire vehicle (and select-high control algorithm on the trailers and dolly) found that instabilities (i.e. lane excursions and/or jackknifes) were exhibited under conditions when the surface friction coefficient was 0.3. It was demonstrated that these instabilities could be avoided while utilizing a select-low control algorithm on the trailers and dolly. Simulation results with the ABS OFF for the tractor showed that a tractor equipped with disc brakes had greater jackknife stability.
Technical Paper

Parameter Determination and Vehicle Dynamics Modeling for The National Advanced Driving Simulator of the 2006 BMW 330i

The paper discusses the development of a model for the 2006 BMW 330i for the National Advanced Driving Simulator's (NADS) vehicle dynamics simulation, NADSdyna. The front and rear suspensions are independent strut and link type suspensions modeled using recursive rigid-body dynamics formulations. The suspension springs and shock absorbers are modeled as force elements. The paper includes parameters for front and rear semi-empirical tire models used with NADSdyna. Longitudinal and lateral tire force plots are also included. The NADSdyna model provides state-of-the-art high-fidelity handling dynamics for real-time hardware-in-the-loop simulation. The realism of a particular model depends heavily on how the parameters are obtained from the actual physical system. Complex models do not guarantee high fidelity if the parameters used were not properly measured. Methodologies for determining the parameters are detailed in this paper.
Technical Paper

Automated Steering Controller for Vehicle Testing

Automating road vehicle control can increase the range and reliability of dynamic testing. Some tests, for instance, specify precise steering inputs which human test drivers are only able to approximate, adding uncertainty to the test results. An automated steering system has been developed which is capable of removing these limitations. This system enables any production car or light truck to follow a user-defined path, using global position feedback, or to perform specific steering sequences with excellent repeatability. The system adapts itself to a given vehicle s handling characteristics, and it can be installed and uninstalled quickly without damage or permanent modification to the vehicle.
Technical Paper

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

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

Enhancement of Vehicle Dynamics Model Using Genetic Algorithm and Estimation Theory

A determination of the vehicle states and tire forces is critical to the stability of vehicle dynamic behavior and to designing automotive control systems. Researchers have studied estimation methods for the vehicle state vectors and tire forces. However, the accuracy of the estimation methods is closely related to the employed model. In this paper, tire lag dynamics is introduced in the model. Also application of estimation methods in order to improve the model accuracy is presented. The model is developed by using the global searching algorithm, a Genetic Algorithm, so that the model can be used in the nonlinear range. The extended Kalman filter and sliding mode observer theory are applied to estimate the vehicle state vectors and tire forces. The obtained results are compared with measurements and the outputs from the ADAMS full vehicle model. [15]
Technical Paper

Integration of an Adaptive Control Strategy on an Automated Steering Controller

This paper describes an adaptive control strategy for improving the steering response of an automated vehicle steering controller. In order to achieve repeatable dynamic test results, precise steering inputs are necessary. This strategy provides the controller tuning parameters optimized for a particular vehicle's steering system. Having the capability to adaptively tune the steering controller for any vehicle installation provides an easy method for obtaining precise steering inputs for a wide range of vehicles, from small off-road utility vehicles to passenger vehicles to heavy trucks. The S.E.A. Ltd. Automated Steering Controller (ASC) is used exclusively in conducting this research. By recording the torque input to the steering system by the steering controller and the resulting steering angle during only a single test, the ASC is able to characterize the steering system of the test vehicle and create a computer model with appropriate parameters.
Technical Paper

Powertrain and Brake Modeling of the 1994 Ford Taurus for the National Advanced Driving Simulator

This paper introduces the quasi-static powertrain model for eventual use in the National Advanced Driving Simulator. The 1994 Ford Taurus model is illustrated along with experimental validations; a one-dimensional torque formulation that includes the torque and angular velocity transmitted through the engine, torque converter, automatic transmission gear box, differential, and final drive. A model of the cruise control based on the proportional integrator controller is introduced. The model is able to mimic all basic functions of the speed controller. The load sensitive brake system is modeled with a generic Anti-lock Brake System.
Technical Paper

Refinements of a Heavy Truck ABS Model

In 2004, a model of a 6s6m ABS controller was developed in order to support NHTSA's efforts in the study of heavy truck braking performance. This model was developed using Simulink and interfaced with TruckSim, a vehicle dynamics software package, in order to create an accurate braking simulation of a 6×4 Peterbilt straight truck. For this study, the vehicle model braking dynamics were improved and the ABS controller model was refined. Also, the controller was made adaptable to ABS configurations other than 6s6m, such as 4s4m and 4s3m. Controller models were finally validated to experimental data from the Peterbilt truck, gathered at NHTSA's Vehicle Research and Test Center (VRTC).
Technical Paper

Development and Implementation of a Path-Following Algorithm for an Autonomous Vehicle

This paper describes the development and implementation of an accurate and repeatable path-following algorithm focused ultimately on vehicle testing. A compact, lightweight, and portable hardware package allows easy installation and negligible impact on the vehicle mass, even for the smallest automobile. Innovative features include the ability to generate a smooth, evenly-spaced path vector regardless the quality of the given path. The algorithm proposed in this work is suitable for testing in a controlled environment. The system was evaluated in simulation and performed well in road tests at low speeds.
Journal Article

Development of a Roll Stability Control Model for a Tractor Trailer Vehicle

Heavy trucks are involved in many accidents every year and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is viewed as a means to help mitigate this problem. ESC systems are designed to reduce the incidence of single vehicle loss of control, which might lead to rollover or jackknife. As the working details and control strategies of commercially available ESC systems are proprietary, a generic model of an ESC system that mimics the basic logical functionality of commercial systems was developed. This paper deals with the study of the working of a commercial ESC system equipped on an actual tractor trailer vehicle. The particular ESC system found on the test vehicle contained both roll stability control (RSC) and yaw stability control (YSC) features. This work focused on the development of a reliable RSC software model, and the integration of it into a full vehicle simulation (TruckSim) of a heavy truck.
Journal Article

Design and Operation of a Brake and Throttle Robot

This paper describes the design and implementation of the SEA, Ltd. Brake and Throttle Robot (BTR). Presented are the criteria used in the initial design and the development and testing of the BTR, as well as some test results achieved with the device. The BTR is designed for use in automobiles and light trucks. It is based on a servomotor driven ballscrew, which in turn operates either the brake or accelerator. It is easily portable from one vehicle to another and compact enough to fit even smaller vehicles. The BTR is light enough so as to have minimal effect on the measurement of vehicle parameters. The BTR is designed for use as a stand-alone unit or as part of a larger control system such as the Automated Test Driver (ATD) yet allows for the use of a test driver for safety, as well as test selection, initiation, and monitoring. Installation in a vehicle will be described, as well as electronic components that support the BTR.
Journal Article

Semitrailer Torsional Stiffness Data for Improved Modeling Fidelity

Vehicle dynamics models employed in heavy truck simulation often treat the semitrailer as a torsionally rigid member, assuming zero deflection along its longitudinal axis as a moment is applied to its frame. Experimental testing, however, reveals that semitrailers do twist, sometimes enough to precipitate rollover when a rigid trailer may have remained upright. Improving the model by incorporating realistic trailer roll stiffness values can improve assessment of heavy truck dynamics, as well as an increased understanding of the effectiveness of stability control systems in limit handling maneuvers. Torsional stiffness measurements were conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for eight semitrailers of different types, including different length box vans, traditional and spread axle flat beds, and a tanker.
Technical Paper

Effects of ABS Controller Parameters on Heavy Truck Model Braking Performance

This paper covers research conducted at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Vehicle Research and Test Center (VRTC) examining the performance of semitrailer anti-lock braking systems (ABS). For this study, a vehicle dynamics model was constructed for the combination of a 4×2 tractor and a 48-foot trailer, using TruckSim. ABS models for the tractor and trailer, as well as brake dynamics and surface friction models, were created in Simulink so that the effect of varying ABS controller parameters and configurations on semitrailer braking performance could be studied under extreme braking maneuvers. The longitudinal and lateral performances of this tractor-trailer model were examined for a variety of different trailer ABS controller models, including the 2s1m, 4s2m, and 4s4m configurations. Also, alternative controllers of the same configuration were studied by varying the parameters of the 2s1m controller.
Technical Paper

Advancements in Tire Modeling Through Implementation of Load and Speed Dependent Coefficients

An existing tire model was investigated for additional normal load-dependent characteristics to improve the large truck simulations developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS). Of the existing tire model coefficients, plysteer, lateral friction decay, aligning torque stiffness and normalized longitudinal stiffness were investigated. The findings of the investigation led to improvements in the tire model. The improved model was then applied to TruckSim to compare with the TruckSim table lookup tire model and test data. Additionally, speed-dependent properties for the NADS tire model were investigated (using data from a light truck tire).
Technical Paper

In-Depth Analysis of the Influence of High Torque Brakes on the Jackknife Stability of Heavy Trucks

Published NHTSA rulemaking plans propose significant reduction in the maximum stopping distance for loaded Class-VIII commercial vehicles. To attain that goal, higher torque brakes, such as air disc brakes, will appear on prime movers long before the trailer market sees significant penetration. Electronic control of the brakes on prime movers should also be expected due to their ability to significantly shorten stopping distances. The influence upon jackknife stability of having higher performance brakes on the prime mover, while keeping traditional pneumatically controlled s-cam drum brakes on the trailer, is discussed in this paper. A hybrid vehicle dynamics model was applied to investigate the jackknife stability of tractor-semitrailer rigs under several combinations of load, speed, surface coefficient, and ABS functionality.