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Technical Paper

Design of an Open-Loop Steering Robot Profile for Double Lane Change Maneuver Using Simulation

2010-04-12
2010-01-0096
This paper presents a methodology for designing a simple open-loop steering robot profile to simulate a double lane change maneuver for track testing of a heavy tractor/trailer combination vehicle. For track testing of vehicles in a lane change type of maneuver, a human driver is typically used with a desired path defined with visual cues such as traffic cones. Such tests have been shown to result in poor test repeatability due to natural variation in driver steering behavior. While a steering robot may be used to overcome this repeatability issue, such a robot typically implements open-loop maneuvers and cannot be guaranteed to cause the vehicle to accurately follow a pre-determined trajectory. This paper presents a method using offline simulation to design an open-loop steering maneuver resulting in a realistic approximation of a double lane change maneuver.
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

Student Concept Vehicle: Development and Usability of an Innovative Holographic User Interface Concept and a Novel Parking Assistance System Concept

2019-04-02
2019-01-0396
The Deep Orange program is a concept vehicle development program focused on providing hands-on experience in design, engineering, prototyping and production planning as part of students’ two-year MS graduate education. Throughout this project, the team was challenged to create innovative concepts during the ideation phase as part of building the running vehicle. This paper describes the usability studies performed on two of the vehicle concepts that require driver interaction. One concept is a human machine interface (HMI) that uses a holographic companion that can act as a concierge for all functions of the vehicle. After creating a prototype using existing technologies and developing a user interface controlled by hand gestures, a usability study was completed with older adults. The results suggest the input method was not intuitive. Participants demonstrated better performance with tasks using discrete hand motions in comparison to those that required continuous motions.
Technical Paper

The Ingress and Egress Strategies of Wheelchair Users Transferring Into and Out of Two Sedans

2018-04-03
2018-01-1321
The ability to independently transfer into and out of a vehicle is essential for many wheelchair users to achieve driving independence. The purpose of the current study is to build upon the previous exploratory study that investigated the transfer strategies of wheelchair users by observing YouTube videos. This observational study videotaped five wheelchair users transferring from their wheelchairs into two research vehicles, a small and mid-size sedan that were equipped with a 50mm grid. The goal of this study was to use these videos and vehicle grids to precisely identify ingress and egress motions as well as “touch points” in a controlled setting with a small sample of five male wheelchair users. Using the videos from multiple different camera perspectives, the participants’ ingress and egress transfers were coded, documenting the touch points and step-by-step action sequences.
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

A User-Centered Design Exploration of Fully Autonomous Vehicles’ Passenger Compartments for At-Risk Populations

2018-04-03
2018-01-1318
Autonomous vehicles have the potential to provide mobility to individuals who experience transportation disadvantages due to the inability to drive as a result of physical, cognitive or visual limitations/impairments as well as able-bodied individuals with no/limited desire to drive. Individuals who do not have easy access to transportation have social, academic, health, and career disadvantages in comparison to their peers. Fully autonomous vehicles have the potential to offer mobility solutions to these individuals. A user-centered design approach was utilized by a multidisciplinary team of engineers, human factors specialists, and designers to develop future vehicle features for a broad range of users.
Technical Paper

Understanding the Automotive Pedal Usage and Foot Movement Characteristics of Older Drivers

2018-04-03
2018-01-0495
This study was driven by the prevalence of older drivers’ overrepresentation in crashes caused by pedal application errors. Previous research has shown tasks prone to pedal errors, which include emergency braking, parking lot maneuvers and reaching out of the driver’s window. However, pedal usage characteristics of older drivers while performing on-road driving tasks are unknown. The objective of this research was to understand pedal usage characteristics of older drivers during on-road driving tasks in an instrumented vehicle. Twenty-six drivers over the age of 60 completed 10 stopping tasks as the baseline for stopping performance, a startle-braking task, two forward parking tasks and two reaching out of the vehicle tasks. Results for this instrumented vehicle study showed significantly positive correlations between stature and the percent of foot pivoting, and between shoe length and percent of foot pivoting in the baseline stopping tasks.
Technical Paper

A Voice and Pointing Gesture Interaction System for On-Route Update of Autonomous Vehicles’ Path

2019-04-02
2019-01-0679
This paper describes the development and simulation of a voice and pointing gesture interaction system for on-route update of autonomous vehicles’ path. The objective of this research is to provide users of autonomous vehicles a human vehicle interaction mode that enables them to make and communicate spontaneous decisions to the autonomous car, modifying its pre-defined autonomous route in real-time. For example, similar to giving directions to a taxi driver, a user will be able to tell the car «Stop there» or «Take that exit». In this way, the user control/spontaneity vs interaction flexibility dilemma that current autonomous vehicle concepts have, could be solved, potentially increasing the user acceptance of this technology. The system was designed following a level structured state machine approach. The simulations were developed using MATLAB and VREP, a robotics simulation platform, which has accurate vehicle and sensor models.
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

Improvement of Blind Spot Alert Detection by Elderly Drivers

2015-04-14
2015-01-1399
A common result of aging is a decline in peripheral vision. This study provides a preliminary feasibility analysis of an improved method for alerting drivers of oncoming traffic in blind-spots. Luminescence with an intuitive color-scheme is used as the primary stimulus to permeate a wider field of useful vision than that of existing technology in use today. This method was developed based on concepts of affordance-based design through its adaptation to address specific cognitive and visual acuity challenges of the elderly. The result is an improved, intuitive technique for hazard alert that shows significant improvement over existing technology for all age groups, not just the elderly.
Technical Paper

Clarity of View: An AHP Multi-Factor Evaluation Framework for Driver Awareness Systems in Heavy Vehicles

2015-04-14
2015-01-1704
Several emerging technologies hold great promise to improve the 360-degree awareness of the heavy vehicle driver. However, current industry-standard evaluation methods do not measure all the comprehensive factors contributing to the overall effectiveness of such systems. As a result, industry is challenged to evaluate new technologies in a way that is objective and allows the comparison of different systems in a consistent manner. This research aims to explore the methods currently in use, identify relevant factors not presently incorporated in standard procedures, and recommend best practices to accomplish an overall measurement system that can quantify performance beyond simply the field of view of a driver visibility system. We introduce a new metric, “Clarity of View,” that incorporates several important factors for visibility systems including: gap acceptance accuracy, image detection time, and distortion.
Technical Paper

A Smart Jersey Highway Barrier with Portal for Small Animal Passage and Driver Alert

2013-04-08
2013-01-0620
Barriers are commonly used on roadways to separate and to protect against vehicles traveling in opposing directions from possible head-on collisions. However, these barriers may interfere with wildlife passage such that animals become trapped on the road. Typically, small animals cannot find safe passage across all traffic lanes due to the presence of solid barriers and eventually die after being hit by a vehicle. The occurrence of animal-to-vehicle collisions also presents a dangerous scenario for motorists as a driver may intuitively swerve to avoid hitting the animal. In this paper, a redesigned Jersey style barrier, named the Clemson smart portal, will be presented and discussed. This roadway barrier features a portal for small animal travel, along with a mechatronic-based warning system to notify drivers of animal passage.
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

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.
Technical Paper

Compliant Link Suspension

2009-04-20
2009-01-0225
This paper discusses a compliant link suspension concept developed for use on a high performance automobile. This suspension uses compliant or flexible members to integrate energy storage and kinematic guidance functions. The goal of the design was to achieve similar elasto-kinematic performance compared to a benchmark OEM suspension, while employing fewer components and having reduced mass and complexity, and potentially providing packaging advantages. The proposed suspension system replaces a control arm in the existing suspension with a ternary supported compliant link that stores energy in bending during suspension vertical motion. The design was refined iteratively by using a computational model to simulate the elasto-kinematic performance as the dimensions and attachment point locations of the compliant link were varied, until the predicted performance closely matched the performance of the benchmark suspension.
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

Development of an Expert System for Race Car Driver & Chassis Diagnostics

2002-05-07
2002-01-1574
Race teams compete at a level where fractions of a second separate the finishers. Consequently, teams devote significant resources to gain a competitive edge. Limitations on track time and high track rental prices dictate efficiency in testing. Thus, proper use of data acquisition and computer aided engineering tools is essential. These tools can be used to quickly analyze test data and serve as the basis for recommendations for changes in chassis setup and driver technique. This project describes the further development of such a tool that can be used to analyze and diagnose the control inputs of a driver as well as diagnose the overall balance of the chassis (i.e., understeer and oversteer). This tool is an “expert system” (implemented in MATLAB) that provides an understanding of the effects of both chassis setup changes and driver steering, braking, and throttle control inputs on overall lap times.
Journal Article

Fuzzy Logic Approach to Vehicle Stability Control of Oversteer

2011-04-12
2011-01-0268
Traditional Electronic Stability Control (ESC) for automobiles is usually accomplished through the use of estimated vehicle dynamics from simplified models that rely on parameters such as cornering stiffness that can change with the vehicle state and time. This paper proposes a different method for electronic stability control of oversteer by predicting the degree of instability in a vehicle. The algorithm is solely based on measurable response characteristics including lateral acceleration, yaw rate, speed, and driver steering input. These signals are appropriately conditioned and evaluated with fuzzy logic to determine the degree of instability present. When the “degree of instability” passes a certain threshold, the appropriate control action is applied to the vehicle in the form of differential yaw braking. Using only the measured response of the vehicle alleviates the problem of degraded performance when vehicle parameters change.
Journal Article

Vehicle Road Runoff and Return - Effect of Limited Steering Intervention

2011-04-12
2011-01-0583
Vehicle safety remains a significant concern for consumers, government agencies, and automotive manufacturers. One critical type of vehicle accident results from the right or left side tires leaving the road surface and then returning abruptly due to large steering wheel inputs (road runoff and return). A subset of runoff road crashes that involve a steep hard shoulder has been labeled shoulder induced accidents. In this paper, a limited authority real time steering controller has been developed to mitigate shoulder induced accidents. A Kalman Filter based tire cornering stiffness estimation technique has been coupled with a feedback controller and driver intention module to create a safer driving solution without excessive intervention. In numerical studies, lateral vehicle motion improvements of 30% were realized for steering intervention. Specifically, the vehicle crossed the centerline after 1.0 second in the baseline case versus 1.3 seconds with steering assistance at 60 kph.
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