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Journal Article

Verification of ASSTREET Driver-Agent Model by Collaborating with the Driving Simulator

This paper proposes a novel method of verifying comprehensive driver model used for the evaluation of driving safety systems, which is achieved by coupling the traffic simulation and the driving simulator (DS). The method consists of three-step procedure. In the first step, an actual driver operates a DS vehicle in the traffic flow controlled by the traffic simulation. Then in the next step, the actual driver is replaced by a driver model and the surrounding vehicle maneuvers are replayed using the recorded data from the first step. Then, the maneuver by the driver model is compared directly with the actual driver's maneuver along the simulation time steps.
Technical Paper

Toyota's New Shift-by-Wire System for Hybrid Vehicles

In today's motorized society, various automotive technologies continue to evolve every day. Amid this trend, a new concept with respect to automatic transaxle gear-shifting has been developed. In order to materialize a new concept for shifting operation with a universal design in mind, a system has been developed: a shift-by-wire system developed specifically for hybrid vehicles. The greatest advantage of this new system is the lack of constraints associated with the conventional mechanical linkage to the transaxle. This allows freedom of design for the gear selection module. A revolutionary improvement in the ease of shifting has been realized by taking full advantage of this design freedom. In addition, this system contributes to an innovative design. For improved ease of operation, the operation force of the shift lever of this system has been dramatically reduced. For parking, the driver can engage the parking mechanism of the transaxle at the touch of a switch.
Journal Article

Toyota's Integrated Drive Power Control System for Downsized Turbocharged Engine

New engine controls have been developed for the turbocharged Lexus NX200t to improve driving power by reducing engine torque output lag. Drive power management functions have been centralized in an integrated drive power control system. The newly developed controls minimize the potential reduction in drivability associated with the adoption of a turbocharged engine while improving fuel efficiency. General driveability issues commonly associated with a turbocharged engine include sudden increases in drive power due to the response lag of the turbocharger, and higher shifting frequencies if this response lag triggers a disturbed accelerator operation pattern by the driver. The developed technologies detect and control sudden increases in drive power to create the optimum drive power map, and reduce unnecessary shifts even if the driver's accelerator operation is disturbed.
Technical Paper

Spatio-Temporal Frequency Characteristics Measurement of Contrast Sensitivity for Smart Lighting

This study aims at the development of a projection pattern that is capable of shortening the time required by a driver to perceive a pedestrian at night when a vehicle’s high beams are utilized. Our approach is based on the spatio-temporal frequency characteristics of human vision. Visual contrast sensitivity is dependent on spatiotemporal frequency, and maximum contrast sensitivity frequency varies depending on environmental luminance. Conventionally, there are several applications that utilize the spatio-temporal frequency characteristics of human vision. For example, the National Television System Committee (NTSC) television format takes into consideration low-sensitivity visual characteristics. In contrast, our approach utilizes high-sensitivity visual characteristics based on the assumption that the higher contrast sensitivity of spatio-temporal frequencies will correlate more effectively with shorter perception times.
Journal Article

Smart Lighting for Enhancing Perception of Pedestrians based on Visual Properties

We investigated a lighting method that supports pedestrian perception by vehicle drivers. This lighting method makes active use of visual characteristics such as the spatio-temporal frequency of contrast sensitivity. Using reasonable parameter values derived from preliminary experiments using a Campbell-Robson chart, we determined a suitable lighting pattern that improves the driver's pedestrian perception. In order to assess the influence of visual characteristics on a reaction-time-dependent task, such as pedestrian perception in nighttime, tests were performed in the target environment, the results of which validated the proposed method.
Technical Paper

Research of Occupant kinematics and Injury values of Hybrid III, THOR, and human FE model in Oblique Frontal Impact

This paper describes impact kinematics and injury values of Hybrid III AM50, THOR AM50 and THUMS AM50 in simulated oblique frontal impact conditions. A comparison was made among them in driver and passenger seat positions of a midsize sedan car finite element (FE) model. The simulation results indicated that the impact kinematics of THOR was close to that of THUMS compared to that of the Hybrid III. Both THOR and THUMS showed z-axis rotation of the rib cage, while Hybrid III did not. It was considered that the rib cage rotation was due primarily to the oblique impact but was allowed by flexibility of the lumbar spine in THOR and THUMS. Lateral head displacement observed in both THOR and THUMS was mostly induced by that rotation in both driver seat and passenger seat positions. The BrIC, thorax and abdominal injury values were close to each other between THOR and THUMS, while HIC15 and Acetabulum force values were different.
Technical Paper

Pre-Collision System for Toyota Safety Sense

Toyota Safety Sense is a safety system package developed to help drivers avoid accident types with a high frequency of occurrence. This paper deals with pre-collision system which forms the core of Toyota Safety Sense, especially Toyota Safety Sense P which uses a combined sensor configuration consisting of a monocular camera paired with millimeter wave radar, in order to achieve both high recognition performance and reliability. The use of a wide-angle monocular camera, millimeter wave radar integrated in the front grill emblem, and a collision determination algorithm for pedestrian targets enabled the development of a pre-collision system comprising detection capability of crossing pedestrians. Toyota has developed warning and pre-collision brake assist for driver to assist in avoiding a collision effectively; In addition, Pre-collision brake has achieved high level of performance for the drivers who cannot avoid a collision.
Technical Paper

New Drivetrain for Toyota's Flagship Lexus LFA Sports Car

Toyota Motor Corporation has developed a new drivetrain for their flagship Lexus LFA sports car. Passionate driving experience was pursued at the forefront of development. Superior vehicle performance, handling, and responsiveness that seem to anticipate the driver's intentions are achieved. Special vehicle packaging and component placement are adopted in the LFA in order to realize such performance. The engine, clutch, and front counter gear are positioned at the front of the vehicle, and the transaxle at the rear. The engine and transaxle are connected by a rigid torque tube. The transaxle is an automated manual transmission equipped with an electrohydraulic actuator for controlling both the shift and clutch operations. This actuator enables accurate control of the transmission and extremely quick response to shift paddle operation by the driver. This paper describes a general outline of the drivetrain and each component that has significantly contributed to LFA product appeal.
Technical Paper

Indoor Pass-by Noise Evaluation System Capable of Reproducing ISO Actual Road Surface Tire Noise

Generally, pass-by noise levels measured outdoors vary according to the influence of weather conditions, background noise and the driver’s skill. Manufactures, therefore, are trying to reproduce proving ground driving conditions on a chassis dynamometer. The tire noise that occurs on actual road surfaces, however, is difficult to reproduce in indoor tests. In 2016, new pass-by noise regulations (UN R51-03) will take effect in Europe, Japan and other countries. Furthermore, stricter regulations (2dB) will take effect in 2020. In addition to the acceleration runs required under current regulations, UN R51-03 will require constant speed runs. Therefore, an efficient measurement methods are necessary for vehicle development. To solve the above mentioned issues, an indoor evaluation system capable of reproducing the tire noise that occurs on road surfaces has been developed.
Journal Article

Improvement in Vehicle Motion Performance by Suppression of Aerodynamic Load Fluctuations

This study focuses on fluctuations in the aerodynamic load acting on a hatchback car model under steady-state conditions, which can lead to degeneration of vehicle motion performance due to excitation of vehicle vibrations. Large eddy simulations were first conducted on a vehicle model based on a production hatchback car with and without additional aerodynamic devices that had received good subjective assessments by drivers. The numerical results showed that the magnitudes of the lateral load fluctuations were larger without the devices at Strouhal numbers less than approximately 0.1, where surface pressure fluctuations indicated a negative correlation between the two sides of the rear end, which could give rise to yawing and rolling vibrations. Based on the numerical results, wind-tunnel tests were performed with a 28%-scale hatchback car model.
Technical Paper

Feasibility Study of Drowsy Driving Prediction based on Eye Opening Time

Since drowsy driving is a major cause of serious traffic accidents, there is a growing requirement for drowsiness prevention technologies. This study proposes a drowsy driving prediction method based on eye opening time. One issue of using eye opening time is predicting strong drowsiness before the driver actually feels sleepy. Because overlooking potential hazards is one of the causes of traffic accidents and is closely related to driver cognition and drowsiness, this study focuses on eye opening movements during driving. First, this report describes hypotheses concerning drowsiness and eye opening time based on the results of previous studies. It is assumed that the standard deviation of eye opening time (SDEOP) indicates driver drowsiness and the following two transitions are considered: increasing and decreasing SDEOP. To confirm the hypotheses, the relationship between drowsiness and SDEOP was investigated.
Technical Paper

Factors in Annoyance Due to Windshield Reflection of the Outline of the Head-up Display

The use of a head-up display (HUD) system has become popular recently, as it can provide feedback information at a position easily seen by the driver. However, the outline of the HUD bezel often reflects on the windshield of a HUD equipped vehicle. This phenomenon occurs when the sun is at a high position and reflects off the top of the instrument panel and the front view is dark. For this reason, it can occur when driving on asphalt paved roads, causing annoyance to the driver. Under fixed environmental conditions, the vehicle based factors that influence the annoyance caused by reflected boundary lines are the position of the reflection, line thickness, and the contrast of the reflected boundary line. These can be represented by the conspicuity of a striped pattern (contrast sensitivity function). In previous research in 1991, M. S. Banks et al. studied a contrast sensitivity function that included the factors stated above.
Technical Paper

Experimental Study of Lateral Acceleration Feedback Control with Steer-by-Wire System

Steer-by-wire is a system that can independently control steering-wheel torque and vehicle-wheel steering angle. The object of this research was to realize a vehicle that can be driven according to driver's intention in any situation, such as in a crosswind, and rutted road surface. Using a steer-by-wire system, disturbance torque from the vehicle-wheels is not transmitted to the driver, signifying that the steering-wheel angle always indicates driver intention. Also, since unexpected feelings by active steering controls are reduced, feedback controls for the target vehicle behavior are easily realized. This research achieved good characteristics from steering-wheel angle to lateral acceleration by studying response characteristics using a vehicle equipped to measure lateral acceleration feedback.
Technical Paper

Estimation of Driver Workload Based on a Model of Accelerator Pedal Control While Controlling Vehicle Velocity

In driver-focused vehicle development, driver workload is generally evaluated subjectively, with physiological, psychological, and behavioral indexes used to quantify and substantiate the subjective rating. In contrast, a model of driver behavior expresses the driver’s behavioral characteristics which make it possible to estimate how the driver will incorporate information into vehicle operation. Therefore, it is presumed to be capable of estimating the internal state of a driver. Conventionally, a model of driver behavior related to pedal operation has been used for evaluating the driver’s habits and the acceptability of various types of support devices. However, it has not been used for estimating driver workload related to pedal operation. To examine driver workload, this study divided pedal operation magnitude into two components: a learning/judgment component and a correcting component for prediction errors. A method was devised of separating these two components.
Technical Paper

Development of the Brake Assist System

We investigated and analyzed the average vehicle-driver's braking behavior in panic situations by conducting vehicle tests that duplicated real world conditions that would require emergency braking performance. From our investigation, we have noticed that when panic braking is recognized, supplying additional braking power is effective for active safety. The Brake Assist System, which supplies full constant braking force when panic braking is recognized, is effective for drivers who cannot apply enough braking effort. However, in some case, such a system makes more experienced drivers uncomfortable because the deceleration caused by this full constant braking force might be different from their intentions. Considering these issues, we have developed the Brake Assist System that increases its controllability while reducing its discomfort. The TOYOTA RAUM has been available with the Brake Assist System since May 1997.
Technical Paper

Development of a Shift Control System for Automatic Transmissions Using Information from a Vehicle Navigation System

We developed a new automatic transmission control system that performs shift control for the automatic transmission (A/T) using the road data obtained from the navigation system, which previously had been used only for route guidance, and installed it in a new car, Progrès. This system reads the distance to the approaching corner and its shape based on the vehicle's position data and the data of the approaching road obtained from the navigation system, and determines the optimum gear based on these data and the current vehicle speed to perform optimum shift control in linkage with the driver's driving operation. In this paper, configuration, features and effects of this new A/T control system that takes consideration of navigation data are described.
Technical Paper

Development of a New Pre-crash Safety System

Systems already exist that reduce collision damage through collision-danger alarms and by operating such features as pre-tensioning seat belts and collision mitigation brakes when the system has determined the possibility of a collision by using millimeter-wave radar. Conversely, at present, carelessness in observing oncoming traffic accounts for a large percentage of head-on collisions. Timely collision warnings are effective in avoiding accidents and for mitigating the severity of the collision. However, warnings given too early even before the driver has had a chance to carry out normal evasive maneuvers, can annoy the driver. Accordingly, by adding a driver face direction sensor, the authors have developed in the present research a system that will only hasten the timing of warnings when the system has detected the direction of the driver's face and determined that they are not facing the front of the vehicle.
Technical Paper

Development of a New Breath Alcohol Detector without Mouthpiece to Prevent Drunk Driving

Breath alcohol interlock systems are used in Europe and the U.S. for drunk driving offenders, and a certain effect has been revealed in the prevention of drunk driving. Nevertheless, problems remain to be solved with commercialized detectors, i.e., a person taking the breath alcohol test must strongly expire to the alcohol detector through a mouthpiece for every test, more over the determination of the breath alcohol concentration requires more than 5 seconds. The goal of this research is to develop a device that functions suitable and unobtrusive enough as the interlock system. For this purpose, a new alcohol detector, which does not require a long and hard blowing to the detector through a mouthpiece, has been investigated. In this paper, as a tool available on board, a contact free alcohol detector for the prevention of drunk driving has been developed.
Technical Paper

Development of a New 6-Speed FWD Manual Transmission

Environmental awareness has increased on a global scale which pushed for a heavier demand for weight reduction and high transmission efficiency on manual transmissions (hereafter referred to as the “MT”) in improving vehicle driving and fuel economy performance. Comfortable shift feel is also continuously in demand by the customer because its sensitive performance can be directly recognized by the driver which may determine the transmission’s merchantability. The newly developed 6-speed MT (hereafter referred to as the “6MT”) has achieved size reduction (compact size), weight reduced, better fuel efficiency, and improvement in the shift feel which will continue to maintain its’ competitiveness in the future.