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Technical Paper

A Highly Accurate Fuel Level Measuring System

With conventional float-type fuel level sensor's, measurement errors when the vehicle is on an incline or going around corners. Now, a highly-accurate measuring system employing an electrostatic capacity sensor is developed for practical application. This sensor is composed of multiple electrode plates formed alone a allows accurate measurement of regaining fuel even in tanks of irregular shapes. Also, since this sensor comes a unit, it is easier to replace. The system furthermore, employs software provided with averaging, memory storage, and permittivity correction functions in order to elminate the effects of fuel level fluctuations and pressure changes within the tank during driving along with the effect of fuels with different permittivity.
Technical Paper

A New Nissan 3.0-liter V-6 Twin-cam Twin-turbo Engine with Dual Intake and Exhaust Systems

As a new generation sports car engine to lead the field in the 1990s, a 3.0 liter, 60°V, type 6 cylinder, 4 cam, 24 valve engine (VG30DETT) has been developed to achieve the utmost in high performance levels and reliability. it has been mounted on the new model 300ZX and announced in the North America and Japanese markets. The VG30DETT engine is based on the previous VG30DE engine (the engine mounted on the former model 300ZX designed for the market in Japan). The main components, the major driving and the lubrication systems including such parts as the crank shaft,con-rod, cylinder block, piston, exhaust manifold, and oil pan of the VG30DE were thoroughly reviewed and revised. The VG30DETT engine is the result of redesigning the structure of the engine itself and its parts and components to assure durability under, high-level performance requirements.
Technical Paper

A Simple Engine Model for Idle Speed Control

This paper describes a simple engine model at idling and it applies particularly to idle speed control. Through linearization in the neighborhood of the nominal operating points (650 rpm), the engine is expressed as a reduced-order constant coefficient state variable (2 state) model. It was produced through the system order-reduction method. The strategy for controlling idle speed uses the Linear Quadratic and Integral (LQI) optimal control theory. The tracking controller was designed using a state variable engine model, and the performance index was minimized. Since state variables are artificially introduced, they are not directly accessible. Therefore, they must be estimated in accordance with a stored dynamic model (i.e. observer), in which the engine dynamic behavior is estimated on the basis of a state variable model which represents the engine's internal states, in determining controlling values.
Technical Paper

A Study of Drivers' Trust in a Low-Speed Following System

Driving tests were conducted using an experimental vehicle equipped with an adaptive cruise control system incorporating low-speed following capability in order to evaluate drivers' trust in a driver support system. The results revealed that the drivers' trust in the system declined in cases where the control algorithm produced vehicle behavior that was inconsistent with their expectations. However, that decline in trust ceased to be observed as the drivers' understanding of the system improved. This result suggests a correlation between their understanding of the system and trust in it.
Technical Paper

A Study of Laser Radar

Various radar systems have been proposed as collision avoidance sensors for automatic braking and warning applications. Practical use of laser radar systems is near with the introduction of high power, high reliability laser diodes. Utilizing these new devices, a laser radar system has been adapted for measuring the distance to objects in its path. It was first shown that reflectors on the rear of the automobile possess high reflectivity and sharp directivity. Given these characteristics, a compact laser radar system was tested that employed 12W laser diodes and PIN photodiodes. The maximum range of approximately 100 m was obtained. Furthermore, the ability to discriminate other vehicles from roadside objects was achieved by detecting discontinuity in measured distance data through a microprocessor. These results show that the performance of laser radar is comparable to that of microwave radar.
Technical Paper

A Study of String-Stable ACC Using Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication

A study was made on a control method for an adaptive cruise control (ACC) system that uses vehicle-to-vehicle communication to achieve a substantial improvement in string stability and natural headway distance response characteristics at lower levels of longitudinal G. A control system using model predictive control was constructed to achieve this desired ACC vehicle behavior. Control simulations were performed using experimental data obtained in vehicle-following driving tests conducted on a proving ground course using a platoon of three manually driven vehicles. The results showed that the proposed ACC system satisfactorily achieved higher levels of required ACC performance.
Technical Paper

A Study of Technology for Assembling Vehicle Endurance Reliability

The ways in which vehicles are used in the field are continually becoming more diverse. In order to provide the optimum solution with respect to performance and weight, it is necessary to be able to assure vehicle endurance reliability with a high degree of accuracy in relation to the manner of use in each market. This situation has increased the importance of accurately quantifying the ways in which vehicles are used in the field and of designing vehicles with sufficient endurance reliability to match the usage requirements. This report presents a “market model” by which the manner of usage in the field can be treated quantitatively using combinations of environmental factors that influence the road load, drive load and corrosion load, representing typical loads vehicles must withstand.
Technical Paper

A Study of a Gasoline-Fueled Near-Zero-Emission Vehicle Using an Improved Emission Measurement System

This paper concerns research on an emission control system aimed at reducing emission levels to well below the ULEV standards. As emission levels are further reduced in the coming years, it is projected that measurement error will increase substantially. Therefore, an analysis was made of the conventional measurement system, which revealed the following major problems. 1. The conventional analyzer, having a minimum full-scale THC range of 10 ppmC, cannot measure lower concentration emissions with high accuracy. 2. Hydrocarbons are produced in various components of the measurement system, increasing measurement error. 3. Even if an analyzer with a minimum full-scale THC range of 1 ppmC is used in an effort to measure low concentrations, the 1 ppmC measurement range cannot be applied when the dilution air contains a high THC concentration. This makes it impossible to obtain highly accurate measurements. 4.
Technical Paper

A Study of a Safety Support System that Uses Information from the Road Infrastructure

A safety support system that uses information received from the road infrastructure is being developed in a project sponsored by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. The purpose of this system is to reduce the number of accidents at intersections and on highways. The system is now being tested in an experimental vehicle. This paper describes what kind of information is helpful to drivers based on the experimental results.
Technical Paper

A Study of a Telematics Communication Method Involving Switching Signals to Voice and Data Lines

This paper proposes a new voice and data wireless communication method for telematics services. Data-voice (DV) modems have conventionally been used for simultaneous transmission of voice and data. With this method, however, one line is split between the data part and voice part. Lost data are retransmitted, but the voice signal is not resent because voice communication requires a real-time characteristic. The new voice and data wireless communication method proposed here switches voice to a voice line and data to a data line.
Journal Article

A Study of the Knocking Mechanism in Terms of Flame Propagation Behavior Based on 3D Numerical Simulations

The aim of this study is to gain a better understanding of the mechanism of knocking with respect to flame propagation behavior based on 3D simulations conducted with the Universal Coherent Flamelet Model. Flame propagation behavior under the influence of in-cylinder flow was analyzed on the basis of the calculated results and experimental visualizations. Tumble and swirl flows were produced in the cylinder by inserting various baffle plates in the middle of the intake port. A comparison of the measured and calculated flame propagation behavior showed good agreement for various in-cylinder flow conditions. The results indicate that in-cylinder flow conditions vary the flame propagation shape from the initial combustion period and strongly influence the occurrence of knocking.
Technical Paper

ASICs for Electronic Instrument Cluster

ASICs (Application-specific ICs) offer one solution to the problems of quality, cost and installability associated with the increasingly larger-capacity Electronic Control Units (ECUs) in automobiles. A method was, therefore, created for designing automotive ASICs. Using the method, three ASICs were developed which, together, incorporate all of the functions of the electronic instrument cluster. The core ASIC contains the speedometer and system functions, and the other two ASICs contain the tachometer and gauge functions, respectively. This set of three ASICs allows an electronic instrument cluster design which is two times more reliable, and one-second the cost that conventional systems (with a micro-processor and discrete components).
Technical Paper

Adaptive Cruise Control System Using CVT Gear Ratio Control

This paper describes a newly developed adaptive cruise control (ACC) system using continuously variable transmission (CVT) gear ratio control. This system provides excellent headway distance control performance at a reasonable cost. With this system, headway distance is measured with a laser radar, and the throttle position and CVT gear ratio are controlled under both acceleration and deceleration situations. The new ACC system consists of a target headway distance calculator, a headway distance controller, a vehicle velocity controller and a drive torque controller. Using a drive torque control method that was newly developed based on integrated control of engine torque and the CVT gear ratio, the following benefits are obtained. (1) It provides smoother acceleration and deceleration. (2) It maintains the target vehicle velocity on steep uphill and downhill grades. As a result, sufficient ACC performance can be attained even in 2.0-liter class vehicles.
Journal Article

Advanced Technology for Dry Multi-Plate Clutch in FWD HEV Transmission (JATCO CVT8 HYBRID)

There has been a growing need in recent years to further improve vehicle fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. JATCO began mass production of a transmission for rear-wheel-drive (RWD) hybrid vehicle with Nissan in 2010, which was followed by the development of a front-wheel-drive (FWD) hybrid system (JATCO CVT8 HYBRID) for use on a midsize SUV in the U.S. market. While various types of hybrid systems have been proposed, the FWD system adopts a one-motor two-clutch parallel hybrid topology which is also used on the RWD hybrid. This high-efficiency system incorporates a clutch for decoupling the transmission of power between the engine and the motor. The hybrid system was substantially downsized from that used on the RWD vehicle in order to mount it on the FWD vehicle. This paper describes various seal technologies developed for housing the dry multi-plate clutch inside the motor, which was a key packaging technology for achieving the FWD hybrid system.
Technical Paper

Airflow Measurement Around Passenger Car Models Using a Two-Channel Laser Doppler Velocimeter

A two-channel LDV system is used to obtain accurate airflow measurements around scale models of passenger cars in wind tunnel tests at the Nissan Research Center. A 2-watt argon-ion laser is employed as the light source. The main optical unit and probe head are connected by optical fibers. The probe head consists of a compact LDV probe with a beam expander and focusing lens with a long focal length can be easily traversed. A new type of signal processor, performing a digital autocorrelation function, is employed to process the Doppler signals. Mean airflow velocities and turbulence intensities are calculated by a micro computer to evaluate the flow fields. The results of preliminary experiments conducted with this system indicate that the system is not only capable of measuring the mean velocity components, including reverse flow, it can also provide accurate estimation of turbulence components.
Technical Paper

All Round Blind Spot Detection by Lens Condition Adaptation based on Rearview Camera Images

This paper deals with a vehicle detection method for realizing a blind spot warning function, under various environmental conditions. We introduced a method that is capable of discriminating the target object vehicles, under poor lighting conditions and in cases where the lens may be exposed to splashes in wet, snow and dirt roads. The image sensing of the vehicle detection consists of four functional components: obstacle detection, velocity estimation, vertical edge detection, and final classification. Such componets allow robust performances resembling geometry based approaches, with low calculation power as an apperance based approach. This paper describes the functional components, and furthermore methods to enhance the performances under low contrast conditions and also suppress false detections caused by residue on the lens, which becomes essential for installation on vehicles driven in actual road conditions.
Technical Paper

An Evaluation of Multiplexing System for Automotive Distributed Control

On board multiplexing communication system is regarded as a necessary technology for the future of electronic system in automobiles. Many companies are developing multiplexing systems and the ISO and SAE are active in establishing standards for communication protocols. The proposed communication protocol specifications have different specifications. Consequently, no compatible evaluation standards existed, and it was difficult to compare one protocol to another. Therefore, to assist the standardization activities of the IS0 and SAE, we have developed an evaluation method for distributed multiplexed communication systems and evaluated each of the proposed protocols using this method. These evaluations were performed from the point of view of the future users of these systems. In this paper we present the results of the experiments on distributed multiplexed communication systems each of which consists of communication IC and the proposed physical layer.
Technical Paper

An Exploratory Study of the Driver Workload Assessment by Brain Functional Imaging Using Onboard fNIRS

In making driver workload assessments, it is important to evaluate the driver's level of brain activity because the operation of a motor vehicle presumably involves higher-order brain functions. Driving on narrow roads in particular probably imposes a load on the driver's brain functions because of the need to be cognizant of the tight space and to pay close attention to the surroundings. Test vehicles were fitted with a functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) system for measuring bloodstream concentrations at 32 locations in the frontal lobe of the participating drivers in order to evaluate their levels of mental activity while driving on narrow roads. The results revealed significant increases in cerebral blood flow corresponding to the perceived workload. This suggests that increases in cerebral blood flow can be used as an effective index for estimating mental workloads.
Technical Paper

An Integrated Control Algorithm for an SI Engine and a CVT

A new integrated control system has been developed for controlling an SI engine and a CVT proactively so as to obtain the demanded drive torque most efficiently. Taking into account ease of calibration, a control system configuration has been achieved that determines the CVT ratio from the target drive torque and vehicle speed, based on the steady-state relationship between the demanded drive torque and the vehicle speed, gear ratio, engine torque and fuel economy. An analysis was made of drive torque characteristics while the ratio was changing under transient conditions. The results showed that using engine torque to compensate for the ratio change response lag and inertia torque, which is proportional to the differential of the gear ratio, is effective in improving drive torque responsiveness.
Journal Article

Analysis of Oil Film Generation on the Main Journal Bearing Using a Thin-Film Sensor and Elasto-Hydrodynamic Lubrication (EHL) Model

Reducing friction in the crankshaft main bearings is an effective means of improving the fuel efficiency of reciprocating internal combustion engines. To realize these improvements, it is necessary to understand the lubricating conditions, in particular the oil film pressure distributions between crankshaft and bearings. In this study, we developed a thin-film pressure sensor and applied it to the measurement of engine main bearing oil film pressure in a 4-cylinder, 2.5 L gasoline engine. This thin-film sensor is applied directly to the bearing surface by sputtering, allowing for measurement of oil film pressure without changing the shape and rigidity of the bearing. Moreover, the sensor material and shape were optimized to minimize influence from strain and temperature on the oil film pressure measurement. Measurements were performed at the No. 2 and 5 main bearings.