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Technical Paper

Road Vibration Investigation Using the Ford Vehicle Vibration Simulator

In-vehicle subjective evaluations of a mid-sized SUV exhibited an objectionable vibration character when driven over smooth road surfaces with minor rolling irregularities. As a result, a project was initiated to systematically identify problem frequency components and degrees-of-freedom that contribute to the phenomenon sometimes referred to as “nervousness.” The Ford Vehicle Vibration Simulator (VVS) was used to simulate the vibrations felt on the road. Eleven degree-of-freedom (DOF) simulations were produced. The seat simulation contained three translational (vertical, lateral and longitudinal) and three rotational (pitch, yaw and roll) DOFs. The steering wheel consisted of all three translational components in addition to the DOF associated with wheel rotation. The floorpan was excited in the vertical direction only. By systematically eliminating various DOFs, it was determined that the seat contributed the most to the objectionable vibration.
Technical Paper

Wheel Fight Objective Metric Development

Wheel Fight is the undesirable rotational response of a vehicle's steering wheel due to road input at any or all of the road/wheel tire patches. The type of road input that will cause wheel fight comes in two forms: continuous rough road surfaces such as broken concrete or transient inputs such as pot-holes and tar strips. An objective method to quantify a vehicle's wheel fight sensitivity would be of great value to the vehicle development engineer. To that end, a study was conducted on Ford's Vehicle Vibration Simulator (VVS) to gather subjective responses and use those as a basis for correlation to an objective metric. One road surface known to induce wheel fight consists of using a rubber strip and driving over it while impacting only one side of the vehicle. Under this condition, steering wheel data was acquired on five different light trucks from which paired comparison studies were conducted.
Technical Paper

Subjective and Objective Quantification of Steady-State Idle Vibration Felt Through the Seat

This research is the result of an effort to objectively quantify idle vibration felt at the seat during steady-state idle conditions. A previously used seat vibration metric using the root-sum-square (RSS) of vertical, lateral and longitudinal degrees-of-freedom (DOFs) measured at the seat base was found to not adequately describe the human perception of 34 test subjects (R2=0.63). Using the Ford vehicle vibration simulator, a new metric was developed. Thirty-four test subjects participated in a paired comparison study in which six-DOF (vertical, lateral, longitudinal, pitch, roll and yaw) simulations were reproduced from eight different vehicles. The stimuli used in the study spanned a wide range of vehicles, engine types and configurations. The paired comparison subjective results were used in a correlation of objective metrics. The resulting metric takes vibration measured at various locations of the seat base and projects these vibrations to the seat top.
Technical Paper

Equal Annoyance Contours for Steering Wheel Hand-arm Vibration

The steering wheel is one of the primary sensory inputs for vehicle vibration while driving. Past research on hand-arm vibration has focused on a hand gripping a rod or a hand on a flat plate. Little work has focused on the perception of vibration felt through an automotive steering wheel. This paper discusses the investigation conducted at Ford's Vehicle Vibration Simulator Lab to develop equal annoyance contours for hand-arm vibration. These contours were developed for four different degrees-of-freedom: vertical, lateral, longitudinal and rotation about the steering wheel center. Rotation about the steering wheel is commonly induced by a 1st order tire non-uniformity force and imbalance of the wheel/tire. These 1st order excitation forces generate vibration in the frequency range of 8-20 Hz.
Technical Paper

Sound and Vibration Contributions to the Perception of Impact Harshness

Transient road disturbances excite complex vehicle responses involving the interaction of suspension/chassis, powertrain, and body systems. Typical ones are due to the interactions between tires and road expansion joints, railway crossings and other road discontinuities. Such transient disturbances are generally perceived as “impact harshness” due to the harshness perception as sensed by drivers through both sound and vibration. This paper presents a study of quantifying the effects of sound, steering wheel and seat/floorpan vibrations on the overall perception of the “impact harshness” during impact transient events. The Vehicle Vibration Simulator (VVS) of the Ford Research Laboratory was used to conduct this study. The results of the study show that sound and vibration have approximately equal impact on the overall perception of impact harshness. There is no evidence of interaction between sound and vibration.