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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

Suspension Parameter Measurement Using Side-Pull Test To Enhance Modeling of Vehicle Roll

This paper describes a new laboratory test facility for measuring suspension parameters that affect rollover. The Side-Pull mechanism rolls the test vehicle through a cable attached rigidly at its center of gravity (CG). Changes in wheel camber and wheel steer angles are measured as a function of body roll angle. The roll test simulates a steady-state cornering. Thus, both compliance and kinematic forces are fed simultaneously to the vehicle as they would be applied in a real cornering situation. The lateral load transfer, and roll angle as a function of simulated lateral acceleration is determined. The Side-Pull Roll Measurement has advantages over the conventional roll tests where the rolling force couple is applied vertically. The Side-Pull mechanism rolls the vehicle in a unrestricted way with horizontal forces applied at the tire / pad contact and the CG location. Thus, the measurements take into account coupling of compliance with roll.
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

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

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

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.
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.
Journal Article

Validation of Real Time Hardware in the Loop Simulation for ESC Testing with a 6×4 Tractor and Trailer Models

The tractor trailer models discussed in this paper were for a real-time hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation to test heavy truck electronic stability control (ESC) systems [1]. The accuracy of the simulation results relies on the fidelity and accuracy of the vehicle parameters used. However in this case where hardware components are part of the simulation, their accuracy also affects the proper working of the simulation and ESC unit. Hence both the software and hardware components have to be validated. The validation process discussed in this paper is divided into two sections. The first section deals with the validation of the TruckSim vehicle model, where experimental data is compared with simulation results from TruckSim. Once the vehicle models are validated, they are incorporated in the HIL simulation and the second section discusses the validation of the whole HIL system with ESC.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Vehicle Response Data Measured During Severe Maneuvers

During the past few years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Vehicle Research and Test Center has generated a plethora of reliable vehicle test data during their efforts to study vehicle rollover propensity. This paper provides further analyses of a small selection of some of the data. The analyses provided here derive in part from the previous work, trying to answer some of the questions spawned by earlier analyses. The purpose of this paper is to introduce several new concepts to the study of vehicle roll stability and provide case studies using the results available from the NHTSA testing. Results from several severe maneuvers are studied in detail to gain understanding of vehicle response in these cases.
Technical Paper

Tractor-Semitrailer Stability Following a Steer Axle Tire Blowout at Speed and Comparison to Computer Simulation Models

This paper documents the vehicle response of a tractor-semitrailer following a sudden air loss (Blowout) in a steer axle tire while traveling at highway speeds. The study seeks to compare full-scale test data to predicted response from detailed heavy truck computer vehicle dynamics simulation models. Full-scale testing of a tractor-semitrailer experiencing a sudden failure of a steer axle tire was conducted. Vehicle handling parameters were recorded by on-board computers leading up to and immediately following the sudden air loss. Inertial parameters (roll, yaw, pitch, and accelerations) were measured and recorded for the tractor and semitrailer, along with lateral and longitudinal speeds. Steering wheel angle was also recorded. These data are presented and also compared to the results of computer simulation models. The first simulation model, SImulation MOdel Non-linear (SIMON), is a vehicle dynamic simulation model within the Human Vehicle Environment (HVE) software environment.
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

Heavy Tractor-Trailer Vehicle Dynamics Modeling for the National Advanced Driving Simulator

This paper presents the development of a real-time vehicle dynamics model of the heavy tractor-trailer combination used in the National Advanced Driving Simulator. The model includes multi-body dynamics of the tractor and trailer chassis, suspension, and steering mechanisms. The rigid body model is formulated using recursive multi-body dynamics code. This model is augmented with subsystem models that include tires, leaf springs, brakes, steering system, and aerodynamic drag. This paper also presents parameter measurement and estimations used to set up the model. Also included are models for brake fade, steering torque resistance, and defective tires.
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.
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

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).
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.
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.