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Technical Paper

Use of Cellphones as Alternative Driver Inputs in Passenger Vehicles

Automotive drive-by-wire systems have enabled greater mobility options for individuals with physical disabilities. To further expand the driving paradigm, a need exists to consider an alternative vehicle steering mechanism to meet specific needs and constraints. In this study, a cellphone steering controller was investigated using a fixed-base driving simulator. The cellphone incorporated the direction control of the vehicle through roll motion, as well as the brake and throttle functionality through pitch motion, a design that can assist disabled drivers by excluding extensive arm and leg movements. Human test subjects evaluated the cellphone with conventional vehicle control strategy through a series of roadway maneuvers. Specifically, two distinctive driving situations were studied: a) obstacle avoidance test, and b) city road traveling test. A conventional steering wheel with self-centering force feedback tuning was used for all the driving events for comparison.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Alternative Steering Devices with Adjustable Haptic Feedback for Semi-Autonomous and Autonomous Vehicles

Emerging autonomous driving technologies, with emergency navigating capabilities, necessitates innovative vehicle steering methods for operators during unanticipated scenarios. A reconfigurable “plug and play” steering system paradigm enables lateral control from any seating position in the vehicle’s interior. When required, drivers may access a stowed steering input device, establish communications with the vehicle steering subsystem, and provide direct wheel commands. Accordingly, the provision of haptic steering cues and lane keeping assistance to navigate roadways will be helpful. In this study, various steering devices have been investigated which offer reconfigurability and haptic feedback to create a flexible driving environment. A joystick and a robotic arm that offer multiple degrees of freedom were compared to a conventional steering wheel.