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Technical Paper

An Immersive Vehicle-in-the-Loop VR Platform for Evaluating Human-to-Autonomous Vehicle Interactions

2019-04-02
2019-01-0143
The deployment of autonomous vehicles in real-world scenarios requires thorough testing to ensure sufficient safety levels. Driving simulators have proven to be useful testbeds for assisted and autonomous driving functionalities but may fail to capture all the nuances of real-world conditions. In this paper, we present a snapshot of the design and evaluation using a Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control application of virtual reality platform currently in development at our institution. The platform is designed so to: allow for incorporating live real-world driving data into the simulation, enabling Vehicle-in-the-Loop testing of autonomous driving behaviors and providing us with a useful mean to evaluate the human factor in the autonomous vehicle context.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of CarFit® Criteria Compliance and Knowledge of Seat Adjustment

2018-04-03
2018-01-1314
Improper fit in a vehicle will affect a driver’s ability to reach the steering wheel and pedals, view the roadway and instrument gauges, and allow vehicle safety features to protect the driver during a crash. CarFit® is a community outreach program to educate older drivers on proper “fit” within their personal vehicle. A subset of measurements from CarFit® were used to quantify the “fit” of 97 older drivers over 60 and 20 younger drivers, ages 30-39, in their personal vehicles. Binary, logistic regression was used to assess the likelihood of drivers meeting the CarFit® measurement criteria prior to and after CarFit® education. The results showed older drivers were five times more likely than younger drivers to meet the CarFit® criteria for line of sight above the steering wheel, suggesting that younger drivers would also benefit from CarFit® education.
Technical Paper

Handling Deviation for Autonomous Vehicles after Learning from Small Dataset

2018-04-03
2018-01-1091
Learning only from a small set of examples remains a huge challenge in machine learning. Despite recent breakthroughs in the applications of neural networks, the applicability of these techniques has been limited by the requirement for large amounts of training data. What’s more, the standard supervised machine learning method does not provide a satisfactory solution for learning new concepts from little data. However, the ability to learn enough information from few samples has been demonstrated in humans. This suggests that humans may make use of prior knowledge of a previously learned model when learning new ones on a small amount of training examples. In the area of autonomous driving, the model learns to drive the vehicle with training data from humans, and most machine learning based control algorithms require training on very large datasets. Collecting and constructing training data set takes a huge amount of time and needs specific knowledge to gather relevant information.
Technical Paper

Modeling and Learning of Object Placing Tasks from Human Demonstrations in Smart Manufacturing

2019-04-02
2019-01-0700
In this paper, we present a framework for the robot to learn how to place objects to a workpiece by learning from humans in smart manufacturing. In the proposed framework, the rational scene dictionary (RSD) corresponding to the keyframes of task (KFT) are used to identify the general object-action-location relationships. The Generalized Voronoi Diagrams (GVD) based contour is used to determine the relative position and orientation between the object and the corresponding workpiece at the final state. In the learning phase, we keep tracking the image segments in the human demonstration. For the moment when a spatial relation of some segments are changed in a discontinuous way, the state changes are recorded by the RSD. KFT is abstracted after traversing and searching in RSD, while the relative position and orientation of the object and the corresponding mount are presented by GVD-based contours for the keyframes.
Technical Paper

Conceptualization and Implementation of a Scalable Powertrain, Modular Energy Storage and an Alternative Cooling System on a Student Concept Vehicle

2018-04-03
2018-01-1185
The Deep Orange program immerses automotive engineering students into the world of an OEM as part of their 2-year graduate education. In support of developing the program’s seventh vehicle concept, the students studied the sponsoring brand essence, conducted market research, and made a heuristic assessment of competitor vehicles. The upfront research lead to the definition of target customers and setting vehicle level targets that were broken down into requirements to develop various vehicle sub-systems. The powertrain team was challenged to develop a scalable propulsion concept enabled by a common vehicle architecture that allowed future customers to select (at the point of purchase) among various levels of electrification best suiting their needs and personal desires. Four different configurations were identified and developed: all-electric, two plug-in hybrid electric configurations, and an internal combustion engine only.
Technical Paper

Assessment of a Safe Driving Program for Novice Operators

2013-04-08
2013-01-0441
A safe driver program has been established through a public-private partnership. This program targets novice drivers and uses a combination of classroom and in-vehicle training exercises to address critical driver errors known to lead to crashes. Students participate in four modules: braking to learn proper stopping technique, obstacle avoidance / reaction time to facilitate proper lane selection and collision avoidance, tailgating to learn about following distances, and loss of control to react appropriately when a vehicle is about to become laterally unstable. Knowledge pre and posttests are also administered at the start and end of the program. Students' in-vehicle driving performance are evaluated by instructors as well as recorded by onboard data acquisition units. The data has been evaluated with objective and subjective grading rubrics. The 70 participants in three classes used as a case study achieved an average skill score of 83.93/100.
Technical Paper

Testing a Formula SAE Racecar on a Seven-Poster Vehicle Dynamics Simulator

2002-12-02
2002-01-3309
Vehicle dynamics simulation is one of the newest and most valuable technologies being applied in the racing world today. Professional designers and race teams are investing heavily to test and improve the dynamics of their suspension systems through this new technology. This paper discusses the testing of one of Clemson University's most recent Formula SAE racecars on a seven-poster vehicle dynamics simulator; commonly known as a “shaker rig.” Testing of the current dampers using a shock dynamometer was conducted prior to testing and results are included for further support of conclusions. The body of the paper is a discussion of the setup and testing procedures involved with the dynamic simulator. The results obtained from the dynamic simulator tests are then analyzed in conjunction with the shock dynamometer results. Conclusions are formed from test results and methods for future improvements to be applied in Formula SAE racing are suggested.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of an Automotive Simulator Based Driver Safety Training Program for Run-Off-the-Road and Recovery

2013-04-08
2013-01-1260
Despite the growing acceptance of driver education programs, there remains a class of unpredictable and dangerous vehicle situations for which very little training or education is offered. Included in this list is a condition called run-off-the-road (ROR) which occurs when the wheels of the vehicle leave the paved surface of the road and begin to travel on the lower friction surfaces of the shoulder or side of the road. Unsuccessful recovery from ROR contributes to an overwhelming percentage of motorized vehicle crash fatalities and injuries. Most present solutions involve roadway infrastructure management and driver assistance systems. While these solutions have contributed varying amounts of success to the ROR problem, they remain limited as they do not directly address the critical cause of ROR crashes which is driver performance errors.
Technical Paper

Development of New Turbulence Models and Computational Methods for Automotive Aerodynamics and Heat Transfer

2008-12-02
2008-01-2999
This paper is a review of turbulence models and computational methods that have been produced at Clemson University's Advanced Computational Research Laboratory. The goal of the turbulence model development has been to create physics-based models that are economically feasible and can be used in a competitive environment, where turnaround time is a critical factor. Given this goal, all of the work has been focused on Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) simulations in the eddy-viscosity framework with the majority of the turbulence models having three transport equations in addition to mass, momentum, and energy. Several areas have been targeted for improvement in turbulence modeling for complex flows such as those found in motorsports aerodynamics: the effects of streamline curvature and rotation on the turbulence field, laminar-turbulent transition, and separated shear layer rollup and breakdown.
Technical Paper

VoGe: A Voice and Gesture System for Interacting with Autonomous Cars

2017-03-28
2017-01-0068
In the next 20 years fully autonomous vehicles are expected to be in the market. The advance on their development is creating paradigm shifts on different automotive related research areas. Vehicle interiors design and human vehicle interaction are evolving to enable interaction flexibility inside the cars. However, most of today’s vehicle manufacturers’ autonomous car concepts maintain the steering wheel as a control element. While this approach allows the driver to take over the vehicle route if needed, it causes a constraint in the previously mentioned interaction flexibility. Other approaches, such as the one proposed by Google, enable interaction flexibility by removing the steering wheel and accelerator and brake pedals. However, this prevents the users to take control over the vehicle route if needed, not allowing them to make on-route spontaneous decisions, such as stopping at a specific point of interest.
Technical Paper

Teaching Autonomous Vehicles How to Drive under Sensing Exceptions by Human Driving Demonstrations

2017-03-28
2017-01-0070
Autonomous driving technologies can provide better safety, comfort and efficiency for future transportation systems. Most research in this area has mainly been focused on developing sensing and control approaches to achieve various autonomous driving functions. Very little of this research, however, has studied how to efficiently handle sensing exceptions. A simple exception measured by any of the sensors may lead to failures in autonomous driving functions. The autonomous vehicles are then supposed to be sent back to manufacturers for repair, which takes both time and money. This paper introduces an efficient approach to make human drivers able to online teach autonomous vehicles to drive under sensing exceptions. A human-vehicle teaching-and-learning framework for autonomous driving is proposed and the human teaching and vehicle learning processes for handling sensing exceptions in autonomous vehicles are designed in detail.
Journal Article

Automotive Driving Simulators: Research, Education, and Entertainment

2009-04-20
2009-01-0533
Automotive simulators offer an immersive environment to operate vehicle systems in a safe and repeatable manner. A fundamental question exists regarding their effectiveness for an identified task. For instance, driving simulators can play a significant role in evaluating vehicle designs, developing safety regulations, supporting human factors engineering research, administering driver training and education, and offering individual entertainment. Some of the driving simulator technology users include automotive manufacturers and suppliers, research laboratories at universities and government agencies, driver education and training programs, and motorsports and racing entertainment venues. In each case, the simulator capabilities and functionality must encompass the expectations of the driver to permit their perception of realistic scenarios for evaluation. This paper investigates three driving simulators in terms of their hardware and software, as well as their applications.
Technical Paper

A Modified Monte-Carlo Approach to Simulation-Based Vehicle Parameter Design with Multiple Performance Objectives and Multiple Scenarios

2002-03-04
2002-01-1186
Shorter development times in the automotive industry are leading to the increased use of computer simulation in the vehicle design cycle to pre-optimize vehicle concepts. The focus of the work presented in this study is vehicle dynamic performance in different driving maneuvers. More specifically this paper presents a methodology for simulation-based parameter design of vehicles for excellent performance in multiple maneuvers. The model used in the study consists of eight degrees-of-freedom and has been validated previously. The vehicle data used is for a commercially available vehicle. A number of different driving scenarios (maneuvers) based on ISO standards for transient dynamic behavior are implemented and performance indices are calculated for each individual maneuver considered. Vehicle performance is assessed based on the performance indices.
Technical Paper

Use of Cellphones as Alternative Driver Inputs in Passenger Vehicles

2019-04-02
2019-01-1239
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.
Journal Article

A Virtual Driving Education Simulation System - Hardware and Software with Pilot Study

2013-04-08
2013-01-1407
Novice drivers are often ill-equipped to safely operate a motor vehicle due to their limited repertoire of skills and experiences. However, automotive simulation tools can be applied to better educate young drivers for a number of common driving scenarios. In this paper, the Clemson Automotive Training System (CATS) will be presented to educate and train novice drivers to safely operate four wheel passenger vehicles on paved roadways. A portable automotive simulator can be programmed to emulate a variety of high-crash rate scenarios and roadway geometries. Drivers receive instructions regarding proper driving techniques and behaviors with an opportunity to practice the given vehicle maneuver. An on-line evaluation methodology has been designed to analyze the drivers' capabilities at handling these roadway events. First, a pre-simulation questionnaire evaluates their basic understanding of everyday driving situations.
Journal Article

A Nonlinear Model Predictive Control Strategy with a Disturbance Observer for Spark Ignition Engines with External EGR

2017-03-28
2017-01-0608
This research proposes a control system for Spark Ignition (SI) engines with external Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) based on model predictive control and a disturbance observer. The proposed Economic Nonlinear Model Predictive Controller (E-NMPC) tries to minimize fuel consumption for a number of engine cycles into the future given an Indicated Mean Effective Pressure (IMEP) tracking reference and abnormal combustion constraints like knock and combustion variability. A nonlinear optimization problem is formulated and solved in real time using Sequential Quadratic Programming (SQP) to obtain the desired control actuator set-points. An Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) based observer is applied to estimate engine states, combining both air path and cylinder dynamics. The EKF engine state(s) observer is augmented with disturbance estimation to account for modeling errors and/or sensor/actuator offset.
Technical Paper

Prediction of Human Actions in Assembly Process by a Spatial-Temporal End-to-End Learning Model

2019-04-02
2019-01-0509
It’s important to predict human actions in the industry assembly process. Foreseeing future actions before they happened is an essential part for flexible human-robot collaboration and crucial to safety issues. Vision-based human action prediction from videos provides intuitive and adequate knowledge for many complex applications. This problem can be interpreted as deducing the next action of people from a short video clip. The history information needs to be considered to learn these relations among time steps for predicting the future steps. However, it is difficult to extract the history information and use it to infer the future situation with traditional methods. In this scenario, a model is needed to handle the spatial and temporal details stored in the past human motions and construct the future action based on limited accessible human demonstrations.
Technical Paper

Real-Time Reinforcement Learning Optimized Energy Management for a 48V Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle

2019-04-02
2019-01-1208
Energy management of hybrid vehicle has been a widely researched area. Strategies like dynamic programming (DP), equivalent consumption minimization strategy (ECMS), Pontryagin’s minimum principle (PMP) are well analyzed in literatures. However, the adaptive optimization work is still lacking, especially for reinforcement learning (RL). In this paper, Q-learning, as one of the model-free reinforcement learning method, is implemented in a mid-size 48V mild parallel hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) framework to optimize the fuel economy. Different from other RL work in HEV, this paper only considers vehicle speed and vehicle torque demand as the Q-learning states. SOC is not included for the reduction of state dimension. This paper focuses on showing that the EMS with non-SOC state vectors are capable of controlling the vehicle and outputting satisfactory results. Electric motor torque demand is chosen as action.
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