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Technical Paper

Vehicle Cornering and Braking Behavior Simulation Using a Finite Element Method

This paper presents a vehicle dynamic simulation using a finite element method for performing more accurate simulations under extreme operating conditions with large tire deformation. A new hourglass control scheme implemented in an explicit finite element analysis code LS-DYNA(1) is used to stabilize tire deformation. The tires and suspension systems are fully modeled using finite elements and are connected to a rigid body that represents the whole vehicle body as well as the engine, drive train system and all other interior parts. This model is used to perform cornering and braking behavior simulations and the results are compared with experimental data. In the cornering behavior simulation, the calculated lateral acceleration and yaw rate at the vehicle's center of gravity agree well with the experimental results. Their nonlinear behavior is also well expressed.
Technical Paper

The Progress of SKY Project. - Cooperative ITS Safety Support -

The SKY Project (Start ITS from Kanagawa, Yokohama) was launched in October 2004 in Yokohama, Japan in order to contribute to the local community by reducing traffic accidents and congestion. SKY is a private sector collaboration between Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., NTT DoCoMo, Inc., Panasonic Corporation, and Xanavi Informatics Corporation (now Clarion Ltd.). Support has also been provided from the public sector, namely the National Police Agency of Japan (NPA) and the Kanagawa Prefectural Police. Through the use of in-vehicle technology and an Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) that communicates with the infrastructure, information on nearby vehicles and the surrounding traffic environment can be utilized to reduce traffic accidents, shorten travel times, and increase fuel savings. These are the goals of the SKY project. This paper shows the results of early stage testing and the introduction of newly started trials.
Technical Paper

The Development of Second Generation Ceramic Turbocharger Rotor - Further Improvements in Reliability

Nissan has developed a second generation ceramic turbocharger rotor which provides greater reliability and higher performance than a conventional ceramic rotor. The new rotor is made of silicon nitride, which has demonstrated sufficient strength in vehicle applications. The bonding technique for joining the ceramic rotor to the metal shaft has been confirmed through experimentation to have sufficient reliability. The second generation rotor is featured by the low stress design and higher dynamic strength, and two factors contribute to its higher reliability. The rotor shape was optimized on the basis of results obtained in two analyses of particle impact resistance and applied combined stress. Test results show that the reliability of the second generation rotor have been substantially improved over those of the conventional rotor now being used on production vehicles.
Technical Paper

Technology for distinctive handling performance of the newly developed Electric Vehicle

Electric Vehicle distinctive techniques in order to enhance the vehicle dynamic performance have been studied and applied to Nissan LEAF. From the viewpoint of performance design parameters, this paper introduces the application items focusing on effectuality for the vehicle behavior by means of the yawing motion and the rolling motion control of its vehicle. As the result, the effects of vehicle performance are shown in experimental data.
Technical Paper

Study on Miniaturization of an Air-Cooled Inverter Integrated with Motor

This paper reports about a trial for miniaturization of an air-cooled inverter integrated with motor, which is realized by reduction of the total volume of smoothing capacitor. An integrated system prototype was constructed with a disk-shaped inverter positioned at the rear end of the motor. We examined the possibility of using a ceramic capacitor, which features a higher heat-resistance temperature, lower internal resistance and higher capacity density than a film capacitor. At the same level of capacitance, the volume of a ceramic capacitor is less than one-half that of a film capacitor, enabling the size of the smoothing capacitor to be reduced to approximately one-fifth that of the currently used device. A suitable circuit configuration and physical layout of distributed smoothing capacitors and corresponding power device modules are proposed and demonstrated.
Journal Article

Silicon Carbide Inverter for EV/HEV Application featuring a Low Thermal Resistance Module and a Noise Reduction Structure

This paper presents the technologies incorporated in an electric vehicle (EV)/hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) inverter built with power semiconductors of silicon carbide (SiC) metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) instead of conventional silicon (Si) insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs). A SiC inverter prototype of 2.9 L in size for driving an 80-kW motor was fabricated and evaluated on a motor test bench. The SiC inverter prototype attained average efficiency of 98.5% in the Worldwide harmonized Light-duty Test Cycle (WLTC) driving mode. The two main technologies achieved with this SiC inverter prototype are described. The first one is a new direct-cooled power module with a thick copper (Cu) heat spreader located under the semiconductors that improves thermal resistance by 34% compared with a conventional direct-cooled power module.
Technical Paper

Road-load Input Contribution Analysis for Suspension Durability using a Multi-axial Road Simulator

The durability test with road-load input is necessary for evaluating durability of body and chassis structure in automotive applications. This paper shows the method to analyze road-load input to a suspension system for development of a simple component level bench test. This method enables the extraction of the essential inputs to evaluate the durability of suspension parts using the transfer function (frequency response function) measured by Multi-axial Road Simulator and wheel force transducers. These extracted inputs contribute to development of a new realistic component bench test.
Technical Paper

Information Services for Greater Driving Enjoyment

A prototype navigation system with cellular phone access to an information service center was constructed and evaluated. Center personnel can also operate the system remotely, in addition to providing traffic information and information for more enjoyable travel. Real-time conversation with a center operator is also possible. The system was rated positively by most of the subjects, especially the real-time voice service. This paper describes the car navigation market and cellular phone market in Japan, the system configuration, evaluation results and possible solutions to problems in the system. It also touches on the outlook for future car navigation systems and information services.
Technical Paper

Influence of Vehicle Deceleration Curve on Dummy Injury Criteria

This paper discusses the influence of variations in the vehicle deceleration curve on dummy injury criteria for a passive seat belt-restrained dummy using MVMA-2D crash victim simulation and sled tests for frontal crash analysis. The MVMA-2D simulation and sled tests verified that the vehicle deceleration curve exhibiting the higher Residual Deformation (RD) produces smaller dummy injury criteria. Also, using MVMA-2D simulation, the peak levels of the first and second waves were changed as parameters to ensure accurate evaluation of the influence of the deceleration curve on dummy injury criteria. Moreover, this paper also discusses Nissan's use of both occupant kinematic simulation and vehicle structural sisulation for frontal crash in the development of its vehicles.
Technical Paper

Improvement of Practical Electric Consumption by Drag Reducing under Cross Wind

Reducing vehicle fuel consumption has become one of the most important issues in recent years in connection with environmental concerns such as global warming. Therefore, in the vehicle development process, attention has been focused on reducing aerodynamic drag as a way of improving fuel economy. When considering environmental issues, the development of vehicle aerodynamics must take into account real-world driving conditions. A crosswind is one of the representative conditions. It is well known that drag changes in a crosswind compared with a condition without a crosswind, and that the change depends on the vehicle shape. It is generally considered that the influence of a crosswind is relatively small since drag accounts for a small proportion of the total running resistance. However, for electric vehicles, the energy loss of the drive train is smaller than that of an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle.
Technical Paper

Improvement in Pitting Resistance of Transmission Gears by Plasma Carburizing Process

The application of both high strength gear steels and shot peening technology has succeeded in strengthening automotive transmission gears. This technology, though, improves mainly the fatigue strength at the tooth root, but not the pitting property at the tooth face. Therefore, demand has moved to the development of new gear steels with good pitting resistance. In order to improve pitting resistance, the authors studied super carburizing which is characterized by carbide dispersion in the case, especially processed with a plasma carburizing furnace. Firstly, the influence of the carburizing temperature and carburizing period on the carbide morphology was investigated and the optimum carburizing conditions were determined. Secondly, the fatigue strength and pitting resistance was evaluated using carbide dispersed specimens.
Technical Paper

High Performance Differential Gear

Excellent fuel economy and high performance have been urgent in Japanese automobile industries. With increasing engine power, many of the power train components have to withstand higher loads. Differential pinion gear being one of those highly stressed parts, excellent fatigue and shock resistance have been demanded. At first the fundamental study on the fatigue and impact crack behavior of carburized components was studied and the new grade composed of 0.18%C-0.7%Mn-1.0%Cr-0.4%Mo was alloy designed. Furthermore, Si and P is reduced less than 0.15 and 0.015%, respectively aiming at the reduction of intergranular oxidation and improved case toughness. The differential gear assembly test has proved that the new grade shows three times as high impact strength as that of conventional steel, SCM418, and almost the same as that of SNCM420 containing 1.8%Ni.
Technical Paper

HBMC (Hydraulic Body Motion Control System) for Production Vehicle Application

In order to satisfy increasing customer demands on ride quality as well as expectations for off-road performance of sport-utility vehicles (SUVs), it is necessary to develop technologies which offer enhanced levels of both performances. For ride quality, it is important to minimize body roll angle during cornering, which is achieved by suppressing suspension travel, and also to reduce vertical motion during straight-ahead travel. While for off-road performance, it is necessary to allow a long suspension stroke to allow a high level of off-road traction by delivering driving force reliably to the surface. These two performance parameters require a tradeoff with respect to vehicle roll stiffness. To reconcile these conflicting performance requirements, for first time in the world we adopted for production vehicles the system which connects the four shock absorbers together.
Technical Paper

Failure Prediction for Robot Reducers by Combining Two Machine Learning Methods

There are many production robots used at car manufacturing plants, and each of them is fitted with several reducers. A breakdown of one of these reducers may cause a huge loss due to the stoppage of all production lines. Therefore, condition-based maintenance is currently being used to predict failures by predetermined thresholds for average and standard deviations. However, this method can cause many false alarms or some false negatives. There are some ways of suppressing false alarms, such as detecting a change in the probability density function. However, when false alarms are suppressed using the probability density function in the operational range, some false negatives may occur, leading to a breakdown of a reducer and huge loss. A false negative is caused by overlooking an anomaly with slight changes and it is difficult to detect using only the probability density function.
Technical Paper

Factoring Nonlinear Kinematics into New Suspension Design: A CAE Approach to Vehicle Roll Dynamics

Over the past several decades, vehicle dynamics have been treated mainly on the basis of linear theories. An actual vehicle, however, also shows nonlinear properties such as roll behavior induced by movement of the roll axis. The purpose of this study was to investigate the vehicle roll dynamics in the nonlinear range. Suspensions were divided into two categories and computer-aided engineering (CAE) was used to conduct analyses of complicated kinematics. The results obtained provided theoretical support for designing the Multi-Link Beam Rear Suspension, a new type of suspension for front-wheel-drive cars.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of an Open-grill Vehicle Aerodynamics Simulation Method Considering Dirty CAD Geometries

In open-grille vehicle aerodynamics simulation using computational fluid dynamics, in addition to basic flow characteristics, such as turbulent flow with a Reynolds number of several million on the bluff body, it is important to accurately estimate the cooling air flow introduced from the front opening. It is therefore necessary to reproduce the detailed geometry of the entire vehicle including the engine bay as precisely as possible. However, there is a problem of generating a good-quality calculation grid with a small workload. It usually takes several days to a week for the pretreatment process to make the geometry data ‘clean’ or ‘watertight’. The authors proposed a computational method for complex geometries with a hierarchical Cartesian grid and a topology-independent immersed boundary method with dummy cells that discretize the geometry on a cell-by-cell basis and can set an imaginary point arbitrarily.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of a Voice-Activated System Using a Driving Simulator

On-board voice-interaction systems such as a voice-activated system or a text -to-speech (TTS) system enable drivers to operate devices or to obtain desired information without relying on visual processes. These systems are aimed to reduce the driver's workload, but there is a concern about their possible effect on mental distraction. This paper describes driving simulator tests that were conducted to examine the potential influence of such systems on driver's mental distraction. The results obtained for all of the indices show that the mental distraction level when operating a voice-activated system is significantly lower than that of a traditional manually operated system.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Equivalent Temperature in a Vehicle Cabin with a Numerical Thermal Manikin (Part 1): Measurement of Equivalent Temperature in a Vehicle Cabin and Development of a Numerical Thermal Manikin

The present paper is Part 1 of two consecutive studies. Part 1 describes three subjects: definition of the equivalent temperature (teq), measurements of teq using a clothed thermal manikin in a vehicle cabin, and modeling of the clothed thermal manikin for teq simulation. After defining teq, a method for measuring teq with a clothed thermal manikin was examined. Two techniques were proposed in this study: the definition of “the total heat transfer coefficient between the skin surface and the environment in a standard environment (hcal)” based on the thermal insulation of clothing (Icl), and a method of measuring Icl in consideration of the area factor (fcl), which indicates the ratio of the clothing surface to the manikin surface area. Then, teq was measured in an actual vehicle cabin by the proposed method under two conditions: a summer cooling condition with solar radiation and a winter heating condition without solar radiation.
Technical Paper

Evaluation and Improvement of Vehicle Roll Behavior

Vehicle roll behavior has a large influence on how drivers evaluate handling performance. This paper describes an approach to quantifying roll behavior experimentally and presents a method for designing suspension properties to improve the sensation of roll. In this study, it was found that using pitch motion as an evaluation index results in good correspondence with subjective evaluations. To obtain acceptable roll behavior, it is important to control pitch motion during roll to a lower mode at the front end relative to the rear. This desirable behavior can be achieved by designing suitable roll center characteristics, nonlinear load changes and damping force coefficients.
Technical Paper

Engine Application of a Battery Voltage-Driven DI Fuel Injection System

Every fuel injection system for DI gasoline engines has a DC-DC converter to provide high, stabile voltage for opening the injector valve more quickly. A current control circuit for holding the valve open is also needed, as well as a large-capacity capacitor for pilot injection. Since these components occupy considerable space, an injector drive unit separate from the ECU must be used. Thus, there has been a need for a fuel injection system that can inject a small volume of fuel without requiring high voltage. To meet that need, we have developed a dual coil injector and an opening coil current control system. An investigation was also made of all the factors related to the dynamic range of the injector, including static flow rate, fuel pressure, battery voltage and harness resistance. Both efforts have led to the adoption of a battery voltage-driven fuel injector.