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Technical Paper

Wear Resistance of Lunar Wheel Treads Made of Polymeric Fabrics

The purpose of this research is to characterize the wear resistance of wheel treads made of polymeric woven and non-woven fabrics. Experimental research is used to characterize two wear mechanisms: (1) external wear due to large sliding between the tread and rocks, and (2) external wear due to small sliding between the tread and abrasive sand. Experimental setups include an abrasion tester and a small-scale merry-go-round where the tread is attached to a deformable rolling wheel. The wear resistance is characterized using various measures including, quantitatively, by the number of cycles to failure, and qualitatively, by micro-visual inspection of the fibers’ surface. This paper describes the issues related to each experiment and discusses the results obtained with different polymeric materials, fabric densities and sizes. The predominant wear mechanism is identified and should then be used as one of the criteria for further design of the tread.
Technical Paper

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

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.
Journal Article

Vehicle Road Runoff and Return - Effect of Limited Steering Intervention

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.
Technical Paper

Use of Machine Learning for Real-Time Non-Linear Model Predictive Engine Control

Non-linear model predictive engine control (nMPC) systems have the ability to reduce calibration effort while improving transient engine response. The main drawback of nMPC for engine control is the computational power required to realize real-time operation. Most of this computational power is spent linearizing the non-linear plant model at each time step. Additionally, the effectiveness of the nMPC system relies heavily on the accuracy of the model(s) used to predict the future system behavior, which can be difficult to model physically. This paper introduces a hybrid modeling approach for internal combustion engines that combines physics-based and machine learning techniques to generate accurate models that can be linearized with low computational power. This approach preserves the generalization and robustness of physics-based models, while maintaining high accuracy of data-driven models. Advantages of applying the proposed model with nMPC are discussed.
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

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

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

Trust-Based Control and Scheduling for UGV Platoon under Cyber Attacks

Unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) may encounter difficulties accommodating environmental uncertainties and system degradations during harsh conditions. However, human experience and onboard intelligence can may help mitigate such cases. Unfortunately, human operators have cognition limits when directly supervising multiple UGVs. Ideally, an automated decision aid can be designed that empowers the human operator to supervise the UGVs. In this paper, we consider a connected UGV platoon under cyber attacks that may disrupt safety and degrade performance. An observer-based resilient control strategy is designed to mitigate the effects of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) cyber attacks. In addition, each UGV generates both internal and external evaluations based on the platoons performance metrics. A cloud-based trust-based information management system collects these evaluations to detect abnormal UGV platoon behaviors.
Technical Paper

Thermal Modeling of Engine Components for Temperature Prediction and Fluid Flow Regulation

The operation of internal combustion engines depend on the successful management of the fuel, spark, and cooling processes to ensure acceptable performance, emission levels, and fuel economy. Two different thermal management systems exist for engines - air and liquid cooling. Smaller displacement utility and spark ignition aircraft engines typically feature air cooled systems which rely on forced convection over the exterior engine surfaces. In contrast, passenger/light-duty engines use a water-ethylene glycol mixture which circulates through the radiator, water pump, and heater core. The regulation of the overall engine temperature, based on the coolant's temperature, has been achieved with the thermostat valve and (electric) radiator fan. To provide insight into the thermal behavior of the cylinder-head assembly for enhanced cooling system operation, a dynamic model must exist.
Technical Paper

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Strain Rate Effect on Martensitic Transformation in a TRIP Steel Containing Carbide-Free Bainite

Adiabatic heating during plastic straining can slow the diffusionless shear transformation of austenite to martensite in steels that exhibit transformation induced plasticity (TRIP). However, the extent to which the transformation is affected over a strain rate range of relevance to automotive stamping and vehicle impact events is unclear for most third-generation advanced high strength TRIP steels. In this study, an 1180MPa minimum tensile strength TRIP steel with carbide-free bainite is evaluated by measuring the variation of retained austenite volume fraction (RAVF) in fractured tensile specimens with position and strain. This requires a combination of servo-hydraulic load frame instrumented with high speed stereo digital image correlation for measurement of strains and ex-situ synchrotron x-ray diffraction for determination of RAVF in fractured tensile specimens.
Technical Paper

Smart Thermostat and Coolant Pump Control for Engine Thermal Management Systems

The introduction of mechatronic components into thermal-mechanical systems provides an opportunity to apply real time control strategies for enhanced engine performance. The traditional automotive thermal management system contains the engine, thermostat, air cooled radiator, and centrifugal pump driven by the crankshaft belt. A servo-motor valve and pump may be inserted into the vehicle's heating/cooling system to regulate the coolant flow with the engine control unit. To study these dual actuators, a scale experimental cooling system has been investigated. This automotive inspired thermal system contains a heater, smart thermostat valve, radiator, and variable speed electric pump. A lumped parameter model has been developed to describe the system's behavioral response and establish the basis for temperature regulation. Real time control algorithms are introduced for the synchronous regulation of the valve and pump.
Technical Paper

Ride Dynamics and Pavement Loading of Tractor Semi-Trailers on Randomly Rough Roads

An investigation of the vertical dynamics of a tractor semi-trailer traversing a random road profile was conducted. This paper presents the development of a 14 degree-of-freedom (DOF), dynamic ride model of a tractor semi-trailer. It is based on work previously conducted by Vaduri and Law [1] and Law et al [2]. The DOFs include: (a) vertical displacements of each of the five axles, the tractor frame, the engine on its mounts, the cab on its suspension, and the driver's seat; (b) pitch displacements of the trailer with respect to the tractor, the cab, and the rigid tractor frame; and, (c) the first bending or beaming modes of the tractor and trailer frames. The model also incorporates suspension friction, and tire non-uniformities. The simulation of the model is conducted using MATLAB software.
Technical Paper

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

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.
Technical Paper

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

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

Pointing Gesture Based Point of Interest Identification in Vehicle Surroundings

This article presents a pointing gesture-based point of interest computation method via pointing rays’ intersections for situated awareness interactions in vehicles. The proposed approach is compared with two alternative methods: (a) a point of interest identification method based on the intersection of the pointing ray with the point cloud (PoC) resulting from the vehicle sensors, and (b) the traditional ray-casting approach, where the point of interest is computed based on the first intersection of the pointing rays with locations stored in a 2D annotated map. Simulation results show that the presented method outperforms by 36.25% the traditional ray casting one. However, as it was expected, the sensor-based computation method is more accurate. The validation of our approach was conducted by experiments performed in a test track facility.
Technical Paper

Physiological Limits of Underpressure and Overpressure for Mechanical Counter Pressure Suits

The first concept and early experiments of a mechanical counter pressure (MCP) spacesuit were published by Webb in the late 1960's. MCP provides an alternative approach to the conventional full pressure suit that bears some significant advantages, such as increased mobility, dexterity, and tactility. The presented ongoing research provides a thorough investigation of the physiological effect of mechanical counter pressure applied onto the human skin. In this study, we investigated local microcirculatory effects produced with negative and positive ambient pressure on the lower body as a preliminary study for a lower body garment. The data indicates that the positive pressure was less tolerable than negative pressure. Lower body negative and positive pressure cause various responses in skin blood flow due to not only blood shifts but also direct exposure to pressure differentials.
Technical Paper

Physics-Based Exhaust Pressure and Temperature Estimation for Low Pressure EGR Control in Turbocharged Gasoline Engines

Low pressure (LP) and cooled EGR systems are capable of increasing fuel efficiency of turbocharged gasoline engines, however they introduce control challenges. Accurate exhaust pressure modeling is of particular importance for real-time feedforward control of these EGR systems since they operate under low pressure differentials. To provide a solution that does not depend on physical sensors in the exhaust and also does not require extensive calibration, a coupled temperature and pressure physics-based model is proposed. The exhaust pipe is split into two different lumped sections based on flow conditions in order to calculate turbine-outlet pressure, which is the driving force for LP-EGR. The temperature model uses the turbine-outlet temperature as an input, which is known through existing engine control models, to determine heat transfer losses through the exhaust.