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Technical Paper

CALVIN: Winner of the Fourth Annual Unmanned Ground Vehicle Design Competition

1997-02-24
970174
The Unmanned Ground Vehicle Competition is jointly sponsored by the SAE, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems (AUVS), and Oakland University. College teams, composed of both undergraduate and graduate students, build autonomous vehicles that compete by navigating a 139 meter outdoor obstacle course. The course, which includes a sand pit and a ramp, is defined by painted continuous or dashed boundary lines on grass and pavement. The obstacles are arbitrarily placed, multi-colored plastic-wrapped hay bales. The vehicles must be between 0.9 and 2.7 meters long and less than 1.5 meters wide. They must be either electric-motor or combustion-engine driven and must carry a 9 kilogram payload. All computational power, sensing and control equipment must be carried on board the vehicle. The technologies employed are applicable in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).
Technical Paper

Simulation and Bench Testing of a GM 5.3L V8 Engine

2017-03-28
2017-01-1259
The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team of Virginia Tech (HEVT) is currently modeling and bench testing powertrain components for a parallel plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). The custom powertrain is being implemented in a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro for the EcoCAR 3 competition. The engine, a General Motors (GM) L83 5.3L V8 with Active Fuel Management (AFM) from a 2014 Silverado, is of particular importance for vehicle integration and functionality. The engine is one of two torque producing components in the powertrain. AFM allows the engine to deactivate four of the eight cylinders which is essential to meet competition goals to reduce petroleum energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. In-vehicle testing is performed with a 2014 Silverado on a closed course to understand the criteria to activate AFM. Parameters required for AFM activation are monitored by recording vehicle CAN bus traffic.
Technical Paper

An Illustrative Look at Energy Flow through Hybrid Powertrains for Design and Analysis

2015-04-14
2015-01-1231
Improving fuel economy and overall vehicle emissions are very important in today's society with strict new regulations throughout the world. To help in the education process for the next generation of design engineers, this paper seeks to define a powertrain model created and developed to help users understand the basics behind hybrid vehicles and the effects of these advanced technologies. One of the main goals of this research is to maintain a simplified approach to model development. The 1 Hz model described within this work aims to allow energy to be simply and understandably traced through a hybrid powertrain. Through the use of a “backwards” energy tracking method, demand for a drive cycle is found, and, after tracing the energy demand through each powertrain component, the resulting fuel to meet vehicle demand and associated powertrain losses is found.
Journal Article

Target Population for Intersection Advanced Driver Assistance Systems in the U.S.

2015-04-14
2015-01-1408
Intersection crashes are a frequent and dangerous crash mode in the U.S. Emerging Intersection Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (I-ADAS) aim to assist the driver to mitigate the consequences of vehicle-to-vehicle crashes at intersections. In support of the design and evaluation of such intersection assistance systems, characterization of the road, environment, and drivers associated with intersection crashes is necessary. The objective of this study was to characterize intersection crashes using nationally representative crash databases that contained all severity, serious injury, and fatal crashes. This study utilized four national crash databases: the National Automotive Sampling System, General Estimates System (NASS/GES); the NASS Crashworthiness Data System (CDS); and the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (EARS) and the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey (NMVCCS).
Technical Paper

EcoRouting Strategy Using Variable Acceleration Rate Synthesis Methodology

2018-04-16
2018-01-5005
This paper focuses on the analysis of an EcoRouting system with minimum and maximum number of conditional stops. The effect on energy consumption with the presence and absence of road-grade information along a route is also studied. An EcoRouting system has been developed that takes in map information and converts it to a graph of nodes containing route information such as speed limits, stop lights, stop signs and road grade. A variable acceleration rate synthesis methodology is also introduced in this paper that takes into consideration distance, acceleration, cruise speed and jerk rate as inputs to simulate driver behavior on a given route. A simulation study is conducted in the town of Blacksburg, Virginia, USA to analyze the effects of EcoRouting in different driving conditions and to examine the effects of road grade and stop lights on energy consumption.
Technical Paper

Estimation of Vehicle Tire-Road Contact Forces: A Comparison between Artificial Neural Network and Observed Theory Approaches

2018-04-03
2018-01-0562
One of the principal goals of modern vehicle control systems is to ensure passenger safety during dangerous maneuvers. Their effectiveness relies on providing appropriate parameter inputs. Tire-road contact forces are among the most important because they provide helpful information that could be used to mitigate vehicle instabilities. Unfortunately, measuring these forces requires expensive instrumentation and is not suitable for commercial vehicles. Thus, accurately estimating them is a crucial task. In this work, two estimation approaches are compared, an observer method and a neural network learning technique. Both predict the lateral and longitudinal tire-road contact forces. The observer approach takes into account system nonlinearities and estimates the stochastic states by using an extended Kalman filter technique to perform data fusion based on the popular bicycle model.
Technical Paper

An Extended-Range Electric Vehicle Control Strategy for Reducing Petroleum Energy Use and Well-to-Wheel Greenhouse Gas Emissions

2011-04-12
2011-01-0915
The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team of Virginia Tech (HEVT) is participating in the 2008 - 2011 EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition series organized by Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) and sponsored by General Motors (GM) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE). Following GM's vehicle development process, HEVT established goals that meet or exceed the competition requirements for EcoCAR in the design of a plug-in, range-extended hybrid electric vehicle. The challenge involves designing a crossover SUV powertrain to reduce fuel consumption, petroleum energy use and well-to-wheels (WTW) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In order to interface with and control the vehicle, the team added a National Instruments (NI) CompactRIO (cRIO) to act as a hybrid vehicle supervisory controller (HVSC).
Technical Paper

Development and Validation of an E85 Split Parallel E-REV

2011-04-12
2011-01-0912
The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team of Virginia Tech (HEVT) is participating in the 2009 - 2011 EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition series organized by Argonne National Lab (ANL), and sponsored by General Motors Corporation (GM), and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Following GM's Vehicle Development Process (VDP), HEVT established team goals that meet or exceed the competition requirements for EcoCAR in the design of a plug-in extended-range hybrid electric vehicle. The competition requires participating teams to improve and redesign a stock Vue XE donated by GM. The result of this design process is an Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV) that uses grid electric energy and E85 fuel for propulsion. The vehicle design is predicted to achieve an SAE J1711 utility factor corrected fuel consumption of 2.9 L(ge)/100 km (82 mpgge) with an estimated all electric range of 69 km (43 miles) [1].
Technical Paper

Stability Analysis of Automotive Supervisory Control: A Survey

2011-04-12
2011-01-0974
This paper focuses on stability of automotive supervisory control systems (ASCSs). It serves to introduce the concept of stability with respect to an entire ASCS. The realm of ASCSs is categorized and a brief description of pre-existing classical methods of stability analysis is presented. With the concept then having been fully introduced, an approach to evaluating stability of a key category of ASCS, the rule-based deterministic ASCS, is presented. This approach, cited from unrelated modern literature concerning stability of deterministic finite state machines, is novel in that its original target research area was not specifically automotive engineering.
Journal Article

Linear Quadratic Game Theory Approach to Optimal Preview Control of Vehicle Lateral Motion

2011-04-12
2011-01-0963
Vehicle stability is maintained by proper interactions between the driver and vehicle stability control system. While driver describes the desired target path by commanding steering angle and acceleration/deceleration rates, vehicle stability controller tends to stabilize higher dynamics of the vehicle by correcting longitudinal, lateral, and roll accelerations. In this paper, a finite-horizon optimal solution to vehicle stability control is introduced in the presence of driver's dynamical decision making structure. The proposed concept is inspired by Nash strategy for exactly known systems with more than two players, in which driver, commanding steering wheel angle, and vehicle stability controller, applying compensated yaw moment through differential braking strategy, are defined as the dynamic players of the 2-player differential linear quadratic game.
Technical Paper

Model-Based Design of a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Control Strategy

2013-04-08
2013-01-1753
The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team (HEVT) of Virginia Tech is participating in the 2011-2014 EcoCAR 2 competition in which the team is tasked with re-engineering the powertrain of a GM donated vehicle. The primary goals of the competition are to reduce well to wheels (WTW) petroleum energy use (PEU) and reduce WTW greenhouse gas (GHG) and criteria emissions while maintaining performance, safety, and consumer acceptability. To meet these goals HEVT has designed a series parallel plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) with multiple modes of operation. This paper will first cover development of the control system architecture with a dual CAN bus structure to meet the requirements of the vehicle architecture. Next an online optimization control strategy to minimize fuel consumption will be developed. A simple vehicle plant model will then be used for software-in-the-loop (SIL) testing to improve fuel economy.
Technical Paper

VTool: A Method for Predicting and Understanding the Energy Flow and Losses in Advanced Vehicle Powertrains

2013-04-08
2013-01-0543
A crucial step to designing and building more efficient vehicles is modeling powertrain energy consumption. While accurate modeling is indeed key to effective and efficient design, a fundamental understanding of the powertrain and auxiliary systems that contribute to the energy consumption of a vehicle is equally as important. This paper presents a methodology that has been packaged into a tool, called VTool (short for Vehicle Tool), which can be used to estimate the energy consumption of a vehicle powertrain. The method is intrinsically designed to foster understanding of the vehicle powertrain as it relates to energy consumption and losses while still providing reasonably accurate results. This paper briefly explains the methodology of VTool and demonstrates the capability of VTool as a design tool by presenting 4 example exercises.
Technical Paper

Key Outcomes of Year One of EcoCAR 2: Plugging in to the Future

2013-04-08
2013-01-0554
EcoCAR 2: Plugging In to the Future (EcoCAR) is North America's premier collegiate automotive engineering competition, challenging students with systems-level advanced powertrain design and integration. The three-year Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) series is organized by Argonne National Laboratory, headline sponsored by the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) and General Motors (GM), and sponsored by more than 28 industry and government leaders. Fifteen university teams from across North America are challenged to reduce the environmental impact of a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu by redesigning the vehicle powertrain without compromising performance, safety, or consumer acceptability. During the three-year program, EcoCAR teams follow a real-world Vehicle Development Process (VDP) modeled after GM's own VDP. The VDP serves as a roadmap for the engineering process of designing, building and refining advanced technology vehicles.
Journal Article

Control Strategy for the Excitation of a Complete Vehicle Test Rig with Terrain Constraints

2013-04-08
2013-01-0671
A unique concept for a multi-body test rig enabling the simulation of longitudinal, steering and vertical dynamics was developed at the Institute for Mechatronic Systems (IMS) at TU Darmstadt. A prototype of this IMS test rig is currently being built. In conjunction with the IMS test rig, the Vehicle Terrain Performance Laboratory (VTPL) at Virginia Tech further developed a full car, seven degree of freedom (7 DOF) simulation model capable of accurately reproducing measured displacement, pitch, and roll of the vehicle body due to terrain excitation. The results of the 7 DOF car model were used as the reference input to the multi-body IMS test rig model. The goal of the IMS/VTPL joint effort was to determine whether or not a controller for the IMS test rig vertical actuator could accurately reproduce wheel displacements due to different measured terrain constraints.
Journal Article

Using Objective Vehicle-Handling Metrics for Tire Performance Evaluation and Selection

2013-04-08
2013-01-0743
This paper outlines the development of a simulation-based process for assessing the handling performance of a given set of tires on a specific vehicle. Based on force and moment data, a Pacejka tire model was developed for each of the five sets of tires used in this study. To begin with, simple handling metrics including under-steer gradient were calculated using cornering stiffness derived from the Pacejka model. This Pacejka tire model was subsequently combined with a 3DOF non-linear vehicle model to create a simulation model in MATLAB/Simulink®. Other handling metrics were calculated based on simulation results to step and sinusoidal (General Motors Company) steering inputs. Calculated performance metrics include yaw velocity overshoot, yaw velocity response time, lateral acceleration response time and steering sensitivity. In addition to this, the phase lag in lateral acceleration and yaw rate of the vehicle to a sinusoidal steering input were also calculated.
Journal Article

Using Performance Margin and Dynamic Simulation for Location Aware Adaptation of Vehicle Dynamics

2013-04-08
2013-01-0703
One seminal question that faces a vehicle's driver (either human or computer) is predicting the capability of the vehicle as it encounters upcoming terrain. A Performance Margin (PM) is defined in this work as the ratio of the required tractive effort to the available tractive effort for the front and rear respectively. This simple definition stems from and incorporates many traditional handling metrics and is robust in its scope of applicability. The PM is implemented in an Intervention Strategy demonstrating its use to avoid situations in which the vehicle exceeds its handling capabilities. Results from a design case study are presented to show the potential efficacy of developing a PM-based control system.
Technical Paper

Identification of Road Surface Friction for Vehicle Safety Systems

2014-04-01
2014-01-0885
A vehicle's response is predominately defined by the tire characteristics as they constitute the only contact between the vehicle and the road; and the surface friction condition is the primary attribute that determines these characteristics. The friction coefficient is not directly measurable through any sensor attachments in production-line vehicles. Therefore, current chassis control systems make use of various estimation methods to approximate a value. However a significant challenge is that these schemes require a certain level of perturbation (i.e. excitation by means of braking or traction) from the initial conditions to converge to the expected values; which might not be the case all the time during a regular drive.
Technical Paper

Development of Auditory Warning Signals for Mitigating Heavy Truck Rear-End Crashes

2010-10-05
2010-01-2019
Rear-end crashes involving heavy trucks occur with sufficient frequency that they are a cause of concern within regulatory agencies. In 2006, there were approximately 23,500 rear-end crashes involving heavy trucks which resulted in 135 fatalities. As part of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) goal of reducing the overall number of truck crashes, the Enhanced Rear Signaling (ERS) for Heavy Trucks project was developed to investigate methods to reduce or mitigate those crashes where a heavy truck has been struck from behind by another vehicle. Researchers also utilized what had been learned in the rear-end crash avoidance work with light vehicles that was conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) serving as the prime research organization. ERS crash countermeasures investigated included passive conspicuity markings, visual signals, and auditory signals.
Journal Article

Mitigating Heavy Truck Rear-End Crashes with the use of Rear-Lighting Countermeasures

2010-10-05
2010-01-2023
In 2006, there were approximately 23,500 rear-end crashes involving heavy trucks (i.e., gross vehicle weight greater than 4,536 kg). The Enhanced Rear Signaling (ERS) for Heavy Trucks project was developed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to investigate methods to reduce or mitigate those crashes where a heavy truck has been struck from behind by another vehicle. Visual warnings have been shown to be effective, assuming the following driver is looking directly at the warning display or has his/her eyes drawn to it. A visual warning can be placed where it is needed and it can be designed so that its meaning is nearly unambiguous. FMCSA contracted with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) to investigate potential benefit of additional rear warning-light configurations as rear-end crash countermeasures for heavy trucks.
Journal Article

A Direct Yaw Control Algorithm for On- and Off-Road Yaw Stability

2011-04-12
2011-01-0183
Models for off-road vehicles, such as farm equipment and military vehicles, require an off-road tire model in order to properly understand their dynamic behavior on off-road driving surfaces. Extensive literature can be found for on-road tire modeling, but not much can be found for off-road tire modeling. This paper presents an off-road tire model that was developed for use in vehicle handling studies. An on-road, dry asphalt tire model was first developed by performing rolling road force and moment testing. Off-road testing was then performed on dirt and gravel driving surfaces to develop scaling factors that explain how the lateral force behavior of the tire will scale from an on-road to an off-road situation. The tire models were used in vehicle simulation software to simulate vehicle behavior on various driving surfaces. The simulated vehicle response was compared to actual maximum speed before sliding vs. turning radius data for the studied vehicle to assess the tire model.
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