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Technical Paper

Vehicle Design Implications of the Turner Proposal

The implications of restricting axle loads to preserve pavements while at the same time allowing gross combination weights over 80,000 pounds are examined with respect to the design qualities of the types of heavy trucks that might be developed. The proposed vehicles would have more axles than current designs thereby achieving higher gross combination weights with smaller axle loads. Design factors influencing mobility, productivity, preservation of the highway infrastructure, and performance in safety-related maneuvers are discussed.
Technical Paper

Variability in Center of Gravity Height Measurement

A round-robin center of gravity height measurement study was conducted to assess current practice in the measurement of the vertical position of the center of gravity (c.g.) of light truck-type vehicles. The study was performed by UMTRI for the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association. The laboratories participating in the study were those of Chrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The primary objectives of this study were (i) to determine to what extent the differing experimental procedures used by the participating laboratories at the time of the study result in significant differences in the measured vertical position of the center of mass of light truck-type vehicles, and (ii) to gain insight into the physical causes of such differences.
Technical Paper

Underride in Fatal Rear-End Truck Crashes

For the 1997 data year, UMTRI's Center for National Truck Statistics collected data on rear underride as part of its Trucks Involved in Fatal Accidents (TIFA) survey. Data collected included whether the truck had a rear underride guard, whether the striking vehicle underrode the truck, and how much underride occurred. A primary goal was to evaluate rear underride of straight trucks. Overall, 453 medium and heavy trucks were struck in the rear by a nontruck vehicle in a fatal crash in 1997. Some underride occurred in at least 272 (60.0%) of the rear-end crashes. For straight trucks, there was some underride in 77 (52.0%) of the crashes, no underride occurred in 43 (29.1%) of the fatal rear-end crashes, and underride could not be determined in the remaining 28 (18.9%) straight truck rear-end crashes. Despite the fact that three-fourths of tractor combinations had an underride guard on the trailer, underride was more common for tractor combinations.
Technical Paper

Standing Reach Envelopes Incorporating Anthropometric Variance and Postural Cost

Standing reach envelopes are important tools for the design of industrial and vehicle environments. Previous work in this area has focussed on manikin-based (where a few manikins are used to simulate individuals reaching within the region of interest) and population-based (where data are gathered on many individuals reaching in a constrained environment) approaches. Each of these methods has merits and shortfalls. The current work bridges the manikin- and population-based approaches to assessing reach by creating population models using kinematic simulation techniques driven by anthropometric data. The approach takes into account body dimensions, balance, and postural cost to create continuous models that can be used to assess designs with respect to both maximal and submaximal reaches. Cost is quantified as the degree to which the torso is involved in the reach, since the inclination of the torso is a good measure of lower-back load and may be related to subjective reach difficulty.
Technical Paper

Some Effects of Lumbar Support Contour on Driver Seated Posture

An appropriately contoured lumbar support is widely regarded as an essential component of a comfortable auto seat. A frequently stated objective for a lumbar support is to maintain the sitter's lumbar spine in a slightly extended, or lordotic, posture. Although sitters have been observed to sit with substantial lordosis in some short-duration testing, long-term postural interaction with a lumbar support has not been documented quantitatively in the automotive environment. A laboratory study was conducted to investigate driver posture with three seatback contours. Subjects† from four anthropometric groups operated an interactive laboratory driving simulator for one-hour trials. Posture data were collected by means of a sonic digitizing system. The data identify driver-selected postures over time for three lumbar support contours. An increase of 25 mm in the lumbar support prominence from a flat contour did not substantially change lumbar spine posture.
Technical Paper

Simple Predictors of the Performance of A-trains

Figures of merit describing the performance qualities of multiple-trailer vehicle combinations (for example, rearward amplification) are usually determined from either full-scale vehicle testing or computer simulation analysis. Either method is expensive and time consuming, and restricted in practice to organizations with specialized equipment and engineering skills. One goal of a recent study, conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration, was to use basic vehicle properties to develop simple formulations for estimating the performance qualities of multiple-trailer vehicle combinations. Several hundred computer simulation runs were made using UMTRI's Yaw/Roll program. Five common double-trailer vehicle configurations (defined by trailer lengths and axle configurations) were studied. Each of the five vehicles was subject to fifteen parameter variations.
Technical Paper

Seated Posture of Vehicle Occupants

This paper describes the methodology and results from a project involving development of anthropometrically based design specifications for a family of advanced adult anthropomorphic dummies. Selection of family members and anthropometric criteria for subject sample selection were based on expected applications of the devices and on an analysis of U.S. population survey data. This resulted in collection of data for dummy sizes including a small female, a mid-sized male, and a large male. The three phases of data collection included: 1. in-vehicle measurements to determine seat track position and seating posture preferred by the subjects for use in development of laboratory seat bucks; 2. measurement of subject/seat interface contours for fabrication of an average hard seat surface for use in the buck; and 3. measurement of standard anthropometry, seated anthropometry (in the buck), and three-dimensional surface landmark coordinates using standard and photogrammetric techniques.
Technical Paper

Safety Implications of Trucks Designed to Weigh Over 80,000 Pounds

A method is presented for checking vehicle designs to see if they will meet size and weight rules that may be applicable to vehicles weighing more than 80,000 lb. Then, examples of heavy trucks that have been designed to be productive are used in illustrating analytical evaluations of measures of performance in safety-related maneuvering situations. The paper concludes with the point of view that trucks over 80,000 lb could have design attributes that would allow these heavier vehicles to have levels of intrinsic safety exceeding or comparable to those of current trucks.
Technical Paper

Roll-Stability Performance of Heavy-Vehicle Suspensions

The handling-performance capability of most large commercial vehicles operating on US highways is generally established by the limits of roll stability. Especially for heavy trucks, suspension properties play an important role in establishing the basic roll stability of the vehicle. For all highway vehicles, the limit of static roll stability is established first by the ratio of half-track width to center-of-gravity height, and then by the compliant responses of the vehicle, which lead to outward motion of the center of gravity in a turn. Three suspension properties, roll stiffness, roll-center height, and lateral stiffness, influence this motion significantly. This paper discusses the basic mechanisms of static roll stability and highlights the role of suspension properties in establishing the roll-stability limit. Facilities and procedures for measuring key suspension properties are described, and data from the measurement of ninty-four heavy-vehicle suspensions are presented.
Technical Paper

Repeatability of the Tilt-Table Test Method

Tilt-table testing is one means of quantifying the static roll stability of highway vehicles. By this technique, a test vehicle is subjected to a physical situation analogous to that experienced in a steady state turn. Although the analogy is not perfect, the simplicity and fidelity of the method make it an attractive means for estimating static rollover threshold. The NHTSA has suggested the tilt-table method as one means of regulating the roll stability properties of light trucks and utility vehicles. One consideration in evaluating the suitability of any test method for regulatory use is repeatability, both within and among testing facilities. As a first step toward evaluating the repeatability of the tilt-table method, an experimental study examining the sensitivity of tilt-table test results to variables associated with methodology and facility was conducted by UMTRI for the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association. This paper reports some of the findings of that study.
Technical Paper

Practical Aspects of Prototyping Instrument Clusters

This paper describes an ongoing effort to develop computer-simulated instrumentation for the UMTRI Driver Interface Research Simulator. The speedometer, tachometer, engine and fuel gauges, along with warning lights are back projected onto a screen in front of the driver. The image is generated by a Macintosh running LabVIEW. Simulated instrumentation (instead of a production cluster) was provided so that new display designs can be rapidly generated and tested. This paper addresses the requirements for prototyping software, the advantages and disadvantages of the packages available, and the UMTRI implementation of the software, and its incorporation into the driving simulator.
Technical Paper

Parking Crashes and Parking Assistance System Design: Evidence from Crash Databases, the Literature, and Insurance Agent Interviews

This paper (1) summarizes previous human factors/safety research on parking (8 studies, mostly over 20 years old), (2) provides statistics for 10,400 parking-related crashes in Michigan from 2000-2002, and (3) summarizes interviews with 6 insurance agents concerning parking crashes. These sources indicate: 1 About 1/2 to 3/4 of parking crashes involve backing, often into another moving vehicle while emerging from a parking stall. 2 Eight-and-a-half foot-wide stalls had higher crash rates than wider stalls. 3 Most parallel parking crashes occur on major streets, not minor streets. 4 Lighting and driver impairment were minor factors in parking crashes.
Technical Paper

Modeling Vehicle Ingress and Egress Using the Human Motion Simulation Framework

The ease of getting into and out of passenger cars and light trucks is a critical component of customer acceptance and product differentiation. In commercial vehicles, the health and safety of drivers is affected by the design of the steps and handholds they use to get into and out of the cab. Ingress/egress assessment appears to represent a substantial application opportunity for digital human models. The complexity of the design space and the range of possible biomechanical and subjective measures of interest mean that developing useful empirical models is difficult, requiring large-scale subject testing with physical mockups. Yet, ingress and egress motions are complex and strongly affected by the geometric constraints and driver attributes, posing substantial challenges in creating meaningful simulations using figure models.
Technical Paper

Modeling Assumptions for Realistic Multibody Simulations of the Yaw and Roll Behavior of Heavy Trucks

This paper summarizes how modem computer simulation methods have been used to develop a “fleet” of heavy truck simulation programs called TruckSim Kinematical and dynamical modeling assumptions appropriate for simulating the general three-dimensional behavior of heavy trucks are described to the extent needed to construct such a model in a multibody program such as the AUTOS1M symbolic code generator Alternative kinematical assumptions were tested and compared to determine their influence on the simulation efficiency and accuracy As part of the validation, simulation results for the new programs were compared with results obtained with an older program that was developed by hand
Technical Paper

Methods for Laboratory Investigation of Truck and Bus Driver Postures

Few studies have systematically examined the effects of truck and bus workstation geometry on driver posture and position. This paper presents methods for determining drivers' postural responses and preferred component locations using a reconfigurable vehicle mockup. Body landmark locations recorded using a three-dimensional digitizer are used to compute a skeletal-linkage representation of the drivers' posture. A sequential adjustment procedure is used to determine the preferred positions and orientations of key components, including the seat, steering wheel, and pedals. Data gathered using these methods will be used to create new design tools for trucks and buses, including models of driver-selected seat position, eye location, and needed component adjustment ranges. The results will also be used to create accurate posture-prediction models for use with human modeling software.
Technical Paper

Methods for Laboratory Investigation of Airbag-Induced Thermal Skin Burns

Two new techniques for investigating the thermal skin-burn potential of airbags are presented. A reduced-volume airbag test procedure has been developed to obtain airbag pressures that are representative of a dynamic ridedown event during a static deployment. Temperature and heat flux measurements made with this procedure can be used to predict airbag thermal burn potential. Measurements from the reduced-volume procedure are complemented by data obtained using two gas-jet simulators, called heatguns. Gas is vented in controlled bursts from a large, heated, pressurized tank of gas onto a target surface. Heat flux measurements on the target surface have been used to develop quantitative models of the relationships between gas jet characteristics and burn potential.
Technical Paper

Methods for In-Vehicle Measurement of Truck Driver Postures

Effective application of human figure models to truck interior design requires accurate data on the postures and positions of truck drivers. Errors in positioning of figure models propagate to errors in reach, visibility, and other analyses. This paper describes methods used in a recent study to measure in-vehicle driving postures in Class 6, 7, and 8 trucks. A three-dimensional coordinate measurement machine was used to measure body landmark locations after a driver completed a short road course. The data were used to validate posture-prediction models developed in a previous laboratory study. Vehicle calibration, driver selection, and testing methods are reviewed.
Technical Paper

Knee, Thigh and Hip Injury Patterns for Drivers and Right Front Passengers in Frontal Impacts

Late model passenger cars and light trucks incorporate occupant protection systems with airbags and knee restraints. Knee restraints have been designed principally to meet the unbelted portions of FMVSS 208 that require femur load limits of 10-kN to be met in barrier crashes up to 30 mph, +/- 30 degrees utilizing the 50% male Anthropomorphic Test Device (ATD). In addition, knee restraints provide additional lower-torso restraint for belt-restrained occupants in higher-severity crashes. An analysis of frontal crashes in the University of Michigan Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network (UM CIREN) database was performed to determine the influence of vehicle, crash and occupant parameters on knee, thigh, and hip injuries. The data sample consists of drivers and right front passengers involved in frontal crashes who sustained significant injuries (Abbreviated Injury Scale [AIS] ≥ 3 or two or more AIS ≥ 2) to any body region.
Technical Paper

Geometric Visibility of Mirror Mounted Turn Signals

Turn signals mounted on exterior rearview mirrors are increasingly being used as original equipment on passenger cars and light trucks. The potential for mirror-mounted turn signals (MMTS) to improve the geometric visibility of turn signals is examined in this paper. A survey of U.S. and UN-ECE regulations showed that the turn signals of a vehicle that is minimally compliant with U.S. regulations are not visible to a driver of a nearby vehicle in an adjacent lane. Measurements of mirror location and window geometry were made on 74 passenger cars and light trucks, including 38 vehicles with fender-mounted turn signals (FMTS). These data were combined with data on driver eye locations from two previous studies to assess the relative visibility of MMTS and conventional signals. Simulations were conducted to examine the potential for signals to be obstructed when a driver looks laterally through the passenger-side window.
Technical Paper

Facial, Periorbital and Ocular Injuries Related to Steering-Wheel Airbag Deployments

To determine the frequency of facial injuries from steering-wheel airbag deployments, 540 consecutive steering-wheel airbag deployments, investigated by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) personnel, were reviewed. About 1 in 3 drivers sustain an injury to the face. Injuries to the area surrounding the eye (periorbital) or to the eyeball (ocular) rarely occur. The frequencies of facial or ocular injuries are the same for belted and unbelted drivers. Drivers of short stature had a higher frequency of facial injury. Females sustained ocular injuries more frequently than males. Untethered airbags were not overly involved in drivers with an ocular injury. No specific make or model car were overly represented in the ocular injury cases.