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Journal Article

Advanced Control Strategies for a Roll Simulator - A Feedback Linearization Technique Explored

This paper presents a feedback linearization control technique as applied to a Roll Simulator. The purpose of the Roll Simulator is to reproduce in-field rollovers of ROVs and study occupant kinematics in a laboratory setting. For a system with known parameters, non-linear dynamics and trajectories, the feedback linearization algorithm cancels out the non-linearities such that the closed-loop dynamics behave in a linear fashion. The control inputs are computed values that are needed to attain certain desired motions. The computed values are a form of inverse dynamics or feed-forward calculation. With increasing system eigenvalue, the controller exhibits greater response time. This, however, puts a greater demand on the translational actuator. The controller also demonstrates that it is able to compensate for and reject a disturbance in force level.
Technical Paper

Modeling of a 6×4 Tractor and Trailers for Use in Real Time Hardware in the Loop Simulation for ESC Testing

According to NHTSA's 2011 Traffic Safety Facts [1], passenger vehicle occupant fatalities continued the strong decline that has been occurring recently. In 2011, there were 21,253 passenger vehicles fatalities compared to 22,273 in 2010, and that was a 4.6% decrease. However; large-truck occupant fatalities increased from 530 in 2010 to 635 in 2011, which is a 20% increase. This was a second consecutive year in which large truck fatalities have increased (9% increase from 2009 to 2010). There was also a 15% increase in large truck occupant injuries from 2010. Moreover, the fatal crashes involving large trucks increased by 1.9%, in contrast to other-vehicle-occupant fatalities that declined by 3.6% from 2010. The 2010 accident statistics NHTSA's report reveals that large trucks have a fatal accident involvement rate of 1.22 vehicles per 100 million vehicle miles traveled compared to 1.53 for light trucks and 1.18 for passenger cars.
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.
Journal Article

Braking Behavior of Truck Drivers in Crash Imminent Scenarios

Dynamic Brake Support (DBS) is a safety system that has been applied to various passenger cars and has been shown to be effective at assisting drivers in avoiding or mitigating rear-end collisions. The objective of a DBS system is to ensure that the brake system is applied quickly and at sufficient pressure when a driver responds to a collision imminent situation. DBS is capable of improving braking response due to a passenger car driver's tendency to utilize multi-stage braking. Interest is developing in using DBS on commercial vehicles. In order to evaluate the possible improvement in safety that could be realized through the use of DBS, driver braking behavior must first be analyzed to confirm that improvement is possible and necessary. To determine if this is the case, a study of the response of truck drivers' braking behavior in collision imminent situations is conducted. This paper presents the method of evaluation and results.
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

The Impact of Worn Shocks on Vehicle Handling and Stability

The intent of this research is to understand the effects worn dampers have on vehicle stability and safety through dynamic model simulation. Dampers, an integral component of a vehicle's suspension system, play an important role in isolating road disturbances from the driver by controlling the motions of the sprung and unsprung masses. This paper will show that a decrease in damping leads to excessive body motions and a potentially unstable vehicle. The concept of poor damping affecting vehicle stability is well established through linear models. The next step is to extend this concept for non-linear models. This is accomplished through creating a vehicle simulation model and executing several driving maneuvers with various damper characteristics. The damper models used in this study are based on splines representing peak force versus velocity relationships.
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

Vehicle to Vehicle Interaction Maneuvers Choreographed with an Automated Test Driver

Modern passenger cars are being equipped with advanced driver assistance systems such as lane departure warning, collision avoidance systems, adaptive cruise control, etc. Testing for operation and effectiveness of these warning systems involves interaction between vehicles. While dealing with multiple moving vehicles, obtaining discriminatory results is difficult due to the difficulty in minimizing variations in vehicle separation and other parameters. This paper describes test strategies involving an automated test driver interacting with another moving vehicle. The autonomous vehicle controls its state (including position and speed) with respect to the target vehicle. Choreographed maneuvers such as chasing and overtaking can be performed with high accuracy and repeatability that even professional drivers have difficulty achieving. The system is also demonstrated to be usable in crash testing.
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.
Technical Paper

Development of a Computer Controlled Automated Steering Controller

This paper describes the design and development of the hardware, electronics, and software components of a state-of-the-art automated steering controller, the SEA, Ltd. ASC. The function of the ASC is to input to a vehicle virtually any steering profile with both high accuracy and repeatability. The ASC is designed to input profiles having steering rates and timing that are in excess of the limits of a human driver. The ASC software allows the user to specify steering profiles and select controller settings, including motor controller gains, through user-interface windows. This makes it possible for the test driver to change steering profiles and settings immediately after running any test maneuver. The motor controller used in the ASC offers self-contained signal input, output, and data storage capabilities. Thus, the ASC can operate as a standalone steering machine or it can be incorporated into typical existing, on-vehicle data acquisition systems.
Technical Paper

Vehicle On-Center Directional and Steering Sensitivity

Steering activity in response to deviations from the intended straight-ahead vehicle path is an important factor of vehicle-driver on-center performance. Traditionally, setting the parameters of vehicle models for stability analysis does not involve vehicle properties that make the vehicle deviate from its intended path with no steering input. However, for closed loop simulations where driver steering activity is considered a fundamental human performance measure, the ability of the vehicle model to faithfully generate path deviations in response to external forces is required for steering performance measures fidelity. Path deviations cause the driver to make small steering angle corrections to keep the vehicle on its intended straight path. It is in fact a natural driving load that should be included in every closed loop simulation before considering any study involving driving loads and driver distractions.
Technical Paper

Closed Loop Steering System Model for the National Advanced Driving Simulator

This paper presents the details of the model for the physical steering system used on the National Advanced Driving Simulator. The system is basically a hardware-in-the-loop (steering feedback motor and controls) steering system coupled with the core vehicle dynamics of the simulator. The system's torque control uses cascaded position and velocity feedback and is controlled to provide steering feedback with variable stiffness and dynamic properties. The reference model, which calculates the desired value of the torque, is made of power steering torque, damping function torque, torque from tires, locking limit torque, and driver input torque. The model also provides a unique steering dead-band function that is important for on-center feel. A Simulink model of the hardware/software is presented and analysis of the simulator steering system is provided.
Technical Paper

Experimental Steering Feel Performance Measures

This paper discusses techniques for estimating steering feel performance measures for on-center and off-center driving. Weave tests at different speeds are used to get on-center performances for a 1994 Ford Taurus, a 1998 Chevrolet Malibu, and a 1997 Jeep Cherokee. New concepts analyzing weave tests are added, specifically, the difference of the upper and lower curves of the hysteresis and their relevance to driver load feel. For the 1997 Jeep Cherokee, additional tests were done to determine steering on-center transition properties, steering flick tests, and the transfer function of handwheel torque feel to handwheel steering input. This transfer function provides steering system stiffness in the frequency domain. The frequency domain analysis is found to be a unique approach for characterizing handwheel feel, in that it provides a steering feel up to maximum steering rate possible by the drivers.
Technical Paper

Modeling and Implementation of Steering System Feedback for the National Advanced Driving Simulator

This paper presents a real-time steering system torque feedback model used in the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS). The vehicle model is based on real-time recursive multi-body dynamics augmented with vehicle subsystems models including tires, power train, brakes, aerodynamics and steering. The steering system feel is of paramount importance for the fidelity of the simulator. The driver has to feel the appropriate torque as he/she steers the vehicle. This paper presents a detailed mathematical model of the steering physics from low-speed stick-slip to high-speed states. On-center steering weave handling and aggressive lane change inputs are used to validate the basic mathematical predictions. This validation is objective and open loop, and was done using field experiments.
Technical Paper

Effects of Loading on Vehicle Handling

This paper explores the effects of changes in vehicle loading on vehicle inertial properties (center-of-gravity location and moments of inertia values) and handling responses. The motivation for the work is to gain better understanding of the importance vehicle loading has in regard to vehicle safety. A computer simulation is used to predict the understeer changes for three different vehicles under three loading conditions. An extension of this loading study includes the effects of moving occupants, which are modeled for inclusion in the simulation. A two-mass model for occupants/cargo, with lateral translational and rotational degrees of freedom, has been developed and is included in the full vehicle model. Using the simulation, the effects that moving occupants have on vehicle dynamics are studied.
Technical Paper

A Demographic Analysis and Reconstruction of Selected Cases from the Pedestrian Crash Data Study

This study involves two areas of research. The first is the finalization of the Pedestrian Crash Data Study (PCDS) in order to provide detailed information regarding the vehicle/pedestrian accident environment and how it has changed from the interim PCDS information. The pedestrian kinematics, injury contact sources, and injuries were analyzed relative to vehicle geometry. The second area presented is full-scale attempts at reconstruction of two selected PCDS cases using the Polar II pedestrian dummy to determine if the pre-crash motion of the pedestrian and vehicle could somehow be linked to the injuries and vehicle damage documented in the case.
Technical Paper

An Investigation of Thermal Effects on the Hybrid III Thorax Utilizing Finite Element Method

The advent of the Hybrid III crash test dummy marked the beginning of biofidelic anthropomorphic test devices. During the development of its critical components, notably the head, neck, knee, and thorax, biomechanical cadaver test results were incorporated into the design. The result was a dummy that represented the 50th percentile male during idealized impacts. In order to achieve a more biofidelic response from the components, many exotic materials and unique designs were utilized. The thorax, for instance, incorporates a spring steel rib design laminated with a viscoelastic polymeric composite material to damp the response. This combination results in the proper hysteretic losses necessary to model the human thorax under impact loading conditions. The disadvantage of this design is that the damping material properties are highly sensitive to temperature. A variation of more than 5 degrees Fahrenheit dramatically affects the response of the thorax.
Technical Paper

Consumer Braking Performance Information Initiative

A test procedure that rates brake performance must control variability so that measured differences between vehicles are real. Tests were conducted using standard brake test procedures with three drivers in three cars on wet and dry asphalt with the ABS working and disabled. The differences between vehicles were greater than differences due to ABS condition, surface condition, and drivers. The procedure measured differences between all the vehicles with statistical certainty but used many replications and drivers. If only large differences in performance need to be distinguished, fewer replications and drivers will be needed.
Technical Paper

An Investigation, Via Simulation, of Vehicle Characteristics that Contribute to Steering Maneuver Induced Rollover

The goal of this research was to find vehicle characteristics which may contribute to steering maneuver induced rollover accidents. This work involved studying vehicle handling dynamics using the Vehicle Dynamics Analysis, Non-Linear (VDANL) computer simulation. The simulation was used to predict vehicle responses while performing 28 different steering induced maneuvers for each of 51 vehicles. Various measures of vehicle response (metrics), such as response times, percent overshoots, etc., were computed for each vehicle from simulation predictions. These vehicle directional response metrics were analyzed in an attempt to identify vehicle characteristics that might be good predictor/explanatory variables for vehicle rollover propensity. The metrics were correlated, using the Statistical Analysis System (SAS) software and logistic regression, with single vehicle accident data from the state of Michigan for the years 1986 through 1988.
Journal Article

A Method of Frequency Content Based Analysis of Driving Braking Behavior

Typically, when one thinks of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), systems such as Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Collision Imminent Braking (CIB) come to mind. In these systems driver assistance is provided based on knowledge about the subject vehicle and surrounding objects. A new class of these systems is being implemented. These systems not only use information on the surrounding objects but also use information on the driver's response to an event, to determine if intervention is necessary. As a result of this trend, an advanced level of understanding of driver braking behavior is necessary. This paper presents an alternate method of analyzing driver braking behavior. This method uses a frequency content based approach to study driver braking and allows for the extraction of significantly more data from driver profiles than traditionally would have been done.