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Technical Paper

A Field Study of Distance Perception with Large-Radius Convex Rearview Mirrors

One of the primary reasons that FMVSS 111 currently requires flat rearview mirrors as original equipment on the driver's side of passenger cars is a concern that convex mirrors might reduce safety by causing drivers to overestimate the distances to following vehicles. Several previous studies of the effects of convex rearview mirrors have indicated that they do cause overestimations of distance, but of much lower magnitude than would be expected based on the mirrors' levels of image minification and the resulting visual angles experienced by drivers. Previous studies have investigated mirrors with radiuses of curvature up to 2000 mm. The present empirical study was designed to investigate the effects of mirrors with larger radiuses (up to 8900 mm). Such results are of interest because of the possible use of large radiuses in some aspheric mirror designs, and because of the information they provide about the basic mechanisms by which convex mirrors affect distance perception.
Technical Paper

A Pilot Study of the Effects of Vertical Ride Motion on Reach Kinematics

Vehicle motions can adversely affect the ability of a driver or occupant to quickly and accurately push control buttons located in many advanced vehicle control, navigation and communications systems. A pilot study was conducted using the U.S. Army Tank Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) Ride Motion Simulator (RMS) to assess the effects of vertical ride motion on the kinematics of reaching. The RMS was programmed to produce 0.5 g and 0.8 g peak-to-peak sinusoidal inputs at the seat-sitter interface over a range of frequencies. Two participants performed seated reaching tasks to locations typical of in-vehicle controls under static conditions and with single-frequency inputs between 0 and 10 Hz. The participants also held terminal reach postures during 0.5 to 32 Hz sine sweeps. Reach kinematics were recorded using a 10-camera VICON motion capture system. The effects of vertical ride motion on movement time, accuracy, and subjective responses were assessed.
Technical Paper

A Research Design to Collect Data for a Second Generation Eyellipse

Current automotive design practices related to driver visibility are based on static laboratory studies of mostly straight ahead viewing that were conducted by Meldrum and others beginning in 1962. These individual studies have never been replicated either in the lab or in actual driving situations to determine the validity of their procedures. After a thorough review of the literature related to driver eye location and a statistical analysis of previous static eye location data, an experimental design is proposed to determine dynamic eye location distribution characteristics. This design will provide information on: (a) the relationship of static anthropometric measurements to dynamic eye location; (b) the difference between dynamic on-the-road eye location versus static in-the-lab eye location distributions: (c) the effect of different types of vehicle seating package parameters on eye location; and, (d) a validation of previous static eye location studies.
Technical Paper

Assessing the Fuel Economy Potential of Light-Duty Vehicles

This paper assesses the potential for car and light truck fuel economy improvements by 2010-15. We examine a range of refinements to body systems and powertrain, reflecting current best practice as well as emerging technologies such as advanced engine and transmission, lightweight materials, integrated starter-generators, and hybrid drive. Engine options are restricted to those already known to meet upcoming California emissions standards. Our approach is to apply a state-of-art vehicle system simulation model to assess vehicle fuel economy gains and performance levels. We select a set of baseline vehicles representing five major classes - Small and Standard Cars, Pickup Trucks, SUVs and Minivans - and analyze design changes likely to be commercially viable within the coming decade. Results vary by vehicle type.
Technical Paper

Distance Cues and Fields of View in Rear Vision Systems

The effects of image size on perceived distance have been of concern for convex rearview mirrors as well as camera-based rear vision systems. We suggest that the importance of image size is limited to cases-such as current rearview mirrors-in which the field of view is small. With larger, richer fields of view it is likely that other distance cues will dominate image size, thereby substantially diminishing the concern that distortions of size will result in distortions of distance perception. We report results from an experiment performed in a driving simulator, with static simulated rearward images, in which subjects were asked to make judgments about the distance to a rearward vehicle. The images showed a field of view substantially wider than provided by any of the individual rearview mirrors in current systems. The field of view was 38 degrees wide and was presented on displays that were either 16.7 or 8.5 degrees wide, thus minifying images by factors of 0.44 or 0.22.
Technical Paper

Driving with HID Headlamps: A Review of Research Findings

High-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps have several advantages over tungsten-halogen headlamps, including greater light efficiency (lumens per watt) and longer life. However, from the safety point of view, the primary attraction of HID headlamps is that, because they produce more total light, they have the potential to provide more useful illumination to the driver. At the same time, there are concerns with the effects of HID illumination on perception of the colors of important objects and glare to oncoming traffic. This paper reviews research evidence that we have accumulated over the past 14 years concerning the potential benefits and drawbacks associated with the use of HID headlighting. We conclude that the evidence strongly supports the use of well-designed HID headlamps.
Technical Paper

Framing Effects on Distance Perception in Rear-Vision Displays

The increasing availability of camera-based displays for indirect vision in vehicles is providing new opportunities to supplement drivers' direct views of the roadway and surrounding traffic, and is also raising new issues about how drivers perceive the positions and movements of surrounding vehicles. We recently reported evidence that drivers' perception of the distance to rearward vehicles seen in camera-based displays is affected not only by the visual angles subtended by the images of those vehicles, but also by the sizes of those images relative to the sizes of the displays within which they are seen (an influence that we have referred to as a framing effect). There was also evidence for a similar, but weaker, effect with rearview mirrors.
Technical Paper

Integrated, Feed-Forward Hybrid Electric Vehicle Simulation in SIMULINK and its Use for Power Management Studies

A hybrid electric vehicle simulation tool (HE-VESIM) has been developed at the Automotive Research Center of the University of Michigan to study the fuel economy potential of hybrid military/civilian trucks. In this paper, the fundamental architecture of the feed-forward parallel hybrid-electric vehicle system is described, together with dynamic equations and basic features of sub-system modules. Two vehicle-level power management control algorithms are assessed, a rule-based algorithm, which mainly explores engine efficiency in an intuitive manner, and a dynamic-programming optimization algorithm. Simulation results over the urban driving cycle demonstrate the potential of the selected hybrid system to significantly improve vehicle fuel economy, the improvement being greater when the dynamic-programming power management algorithm is applied.
Technical Paper

Multi-Zone DI Diesel Spray Combustion Model for Cycle Simulation Studies of Engine Performance and Emissions

A quasi-dimensional, multi-zone, direct injection (DI) diesel combustion model has been developed and implemented in a full cycle simulation of a turbocharged engine. The combustion model accounts for transient fuel spray evolution, fuel-air mixing, ignition, combustion and NO and soot pollutant formation. In the model, the fuel spray is divided into a number of zones, which are treated as open systems. While mass and energy equations are solved for each zone, a simplified momentum conservation equation is used to calculate the amount of air entrained into each zone. Details of the DI spray, combustion model and its implementation into the cycle simulation of Assanis and Heywood [1] are described in this paper. The model is validated with experimental data obtained in a constant volume chamber and engines. First, predictions of spray penetration and spray angle are validated against measurements in a pressurized constant volume chamber.
Technical Paper

Prediction of Head Orientation based on the Visual Image of a Three Dimensional Space

Head movements contribute to the acquisition of targets in visually guided tasks such as reaching and grasping. It has been found that head orientation is generally related to the spatial location of the visual target. The movements of the head in a three-dimensional space are described using six degrees of freedom including translations along x-, y- and z-axis plus rotations about x-, y- and z-axis. While the control of head movement is heavily dependent upon visual perception, head movements lead to a change in the visual perception of the task space as well. In the present study we analyzed head movements in a set of driving simulation experiments. Also a theoretical reconstruction of the perceived task space after head movements was modeled by a statistical regression. This process included the transformation of the task space from a global reference frame (earth-fixed) into a perceived space in a head-centered reference frame (head-fixed).
Technical Paper


This paper describes a computer simulation of the front suspension of a 1973 Chevrolet Malibu using the ADAMS (Automatic Dynamic Analysis of Mechanical Systems) computer program. The model was proposed by the SAE Fatigue Design and Evaluation Committee for evaluating the speed, economy and accuracy of various computer simulations in predicting displacements and loads in a suspension system. A comparison between experimental and simulated results is given.
Technical Paper

The Roles of Camera-Based Rear Vision Systems and Object-Detection Systems: Inferences from Crash Data

Advances in electronic countermeasures for lane-change crashes, including both camera-based rear vision systems and object-detection systems, have provided more options for meeting driver needs than were previously available with rearview mirrors. To some extent, human factors principles can be used to determine what countermeasures would best meet driver needs. However, it is also important to examine sets of crash data as closely as possible for the information they may provide. We review previous analyses of crash data and attempt to reconcile the implications of these analyses with each other as well as with general human factors principles. We argue that the data seem to indicate that the contribution of blind zones to lane-change crashes is substantial.
Technical Paper

Using Vehicle Dynamics Simulation as a Teaching Tool in Automotive Engineering Courses

Some of the best teaching methods are laboratory courses in which students experience application of the principles being presented. Preparing young engineering students for a career in the automotive industry challenges us to provide comparable opportunities to explore the dynamic performance of motor vehicles in a controlled environment. Today we are fortunate to have accurate and easy-to-use software programs making it practical for students to simulate the performance of motor vehicles on “virtual” proving grounds. At the University of Michigan the CarSim® vehicle dynamics simulation program has been introduced as such a tool to augment the learning experience. The software is used in the Automotive Engineering course to supplement homework exercises analyzing acceleration, braking, aerodynamics, and cornering performance. This paper provides an overview of the use of simulation in this setting.