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Technical Paper

A Simulation-Based Study on the Improvement of Semi-Truck Roll Stability in Roundabouts

This paper studies the effect of different longitudinal load conditions, roundabout cross-sectional geometry, and different semi-truck pneumatic suspension systems on roll stability in roundabouts, which have become more and more popular in urban settings. Roundabouts are commonly designed in their size and form to accommodate articulated heavy vehicles (AHVs) by evaluating such affects as off-tracking. However, the effect of the roadway geometry in roundabouts on the roll dynamics of semi-tractors and trailers are equally important, along with their entry and exit configuration. , Because the effect of the roundabout on the dynamics of trucks is further removed from the immediate issues considered by roadway planner, at times they are not given as much consideration as other roadway design factors.
Technical Paper

Analysis of upper extremity response under side air bag loading

Computer simulations, dummy experiments with a new enhanced upper extremity, and small female cadaver experiments were used to analyze the small female upper extremity response under side air bag loading. After establishing the initial position, three tests were performed with the 5th percentile female hybrid III dummy, and six experiments with small female cadaver subjects. A new 5th percentile female enhanced upper extremity was developed for the dummy experiments that included a two-axis wrist load cell in addition to the existing six-axis load cells in both the forearm and humerus. Forearm pronation was also included in the new dummy upper extremity to increase the biofidelity of the interaction with the handgrip. Instrumentation for both the cadaver and dummy tests included accelerometers and magnetohydrodynamic angular rate sensors on the forearm, humerus, upper and lower spine.
Technical Paper

Animal-Vehicle Encounter Naturalistic Driving Data Collection and Photogrammetric Analysis

Animal-vehicle collision (AVC) is a significant safety issue on American roads. Each year approximately 1.5 million AVCs occur in the U.S., the majority of them involving deer. The increasing use of cameras and radar on vehicles provides opportunities for prevention or mitigation of AVCs, particularly those involving deer or other large animals. Developers of such AVC avoidance/mitigation systems require information on the behavior of encountered animals, setting characteristics, and driver response in order to design effective countermeasures. As part of a larger study, naturalistic driving data were collected in high AVC incidence areas using 48 participant-owned vehicles equipped with data acquisition systems (DAS). Continuous driving data including forward video, location information, and vehicle kinematics were recorded. The respective 11TB dataset contains 35k trips covering 360K driving miles.
Journal Article

Anthropomimetic Traction Control: Quarter Car Model

Human expert drivers have the unique ability to combine correlated sensory inputs with repetitive learning to build complex perceptive models of the vehicle dynamics as well as certain key aspects of the tire-ground interface. This ability offers significant advantages for navigating a vehicle through the spatial and temporal uncertainties in a given environment. Conventional traction control algorithms utilize measurements of wheel slip to help insure that the wheels do not enter into an excessive slip condition such as burnout. This approach sacrifices peak performance to ensure that the slip limits are generic enough suck that burnout is avoided on a variety of surfaces: dry pavement, wet pavement, snow, gravel, etc. In this paper, a novel approach to traction control is developed using an anthropomimetic control synthesis strategy.
Journal Article

Biomechanical Response of the Human Face and Corresponding Biofidelity of the FOCUS Headform

In order to evaluate a human surrogate, the human and surrogate response must be defined. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the response of cadaver subjects to blunt impacts to the frontal bone, nasal bone and maxilla. Force-displacement corridors were developed based on the impact response of each region. Variation in the force-displacement response of the cadaver subjects due to the occurrence of fracture and fracture severity was demonstrated. Additionally, impacts were performed at matched locations using the Facial and Ocular CountermeasUre Safety (FOCUS) headform. The FOCUS headform is capable of measuring forces imposed onto facial structures using internal load cells. Based on the tests performed in this study, the nasal region of the FOCUS headform was found to be the most sensitive to impact location. Due to a wide range in geometrical characteristics, the nasal impact response varied significantly, resulting in wide corridors for human response.
Technical Paper

CALVIN: Winner of the Fourth Annual Unmanned Ground Vehicle Design Competition

The Unmanned Ground Vehicle Competition is jointly sponsored by the SAE, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems (AUVS), and Oakland University. College teams, composed of both undergraduate and graduate students, build autonomous vehicles that compete by navigating a 139 meter outdoor obstacle course. The course, which includes a sand pit and a ramp, is defined by painted continuous or dashed boundary lines on grass and pavement. The obstacles are arbitrarily placed, multi-colored plastic-wrapped hay bales. The vehicles must be between 0.9 and 2.7 meters long and less than 1.5 meters wide. They must be either electric-motor or combustion-engine driven and must carry a 9 kilogram payload. All computational power, sensing and control equipment must be carried on board the vehicle. The technologies employed are applicable in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).
Journal Article

Characterization of Lane Departure Crashes Using Event Data Recorders Extracted from Real-World Collisions

Lane Departure Warning (LDW) is a production active safety system that can warn drivers of an unintended departure. Critical in the design of LDW and other departure countermeasures is understanding pre-crash driver behavior in crashes. The objective of this study was to gain insight into pre-crash driver behavior in departure crashes using Event Data Recorders (EDRs). EDRs are units equipped on many passenger vehicles that are able to store vehicle data, including pre-crash data in many cases. This study used 256 EDRs that were downloaded from GM vehicles involved in real-world lane departure collisions. The crashes were investigated as part of the NHTSA's NASS/CDS database years 2000 to 2011. Nearly half of drivers (47%) made little or no change to their vehicle speed prior to the collision and slightly fewer decreased their speed (43%). Drivers who did not change speed were older (median age 41) compared to those who decreased speed (median age 27).
Technical Paper

Comparison of ATD to PMHS Response in the Under-Body Blast Environment

A blast buck (Accelerative Loading Fixture, or ALF) was developed for studying underbody blast events in a laboratory-like setting. It was designed to provide a high-magnitude, high-rate, vertical loading environment for cadaver and dummy testing. It consists of a platform with a reinforcing cage that supports adjustable-height rigid seats for two crew positions. The platform has a heavy frame with a deformable floor insert. Fourteen tests were conducted using fourteen PMHS (post mortem human surrogates) and the Hybrid III ATD (Anthropomorphic Test Device). Tests were conducted at two charge levels: enhanced and mild. The surrogates were tested with and without PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), and in two different postures: nominal (knee angle of 90°) and obtuse (knee angle of 120°). The ALF reproduces damage in the PMHS commensurate with injuries experienced in theater, with the most common damage being to the pelvis and ankle.
Technical Paper

Design of an All-Revolute, Linkage-Type, Constant-Velocity Coupling

This paper describes a design methodology for a three degree-of-freedom, linkage-based constant-velocity coupling. This coupling resembles the Clemens coupling patented in 1872 and has evolved from the authors' previous research in parallel mechanisms. This coupling contains only revolute joints and is therefore likely to be more durable and less prone to manufacturing errors than conventional higher-pair couplings. The kinematic configuration, based on the symmetric double octahedral Variable Geometry Truss mechanism (figure 2), has many inherent traits that make it ideal for application to industrial uses. Its parallel design of simple links and revolute joints provide it with high strength, rigidity, and light-weight characteristics. It has a link-joint construction that allows its geometry to be varied for specific applications, such as producing high angular deflection between the input and output shafts.
Technical Paper

Development of Auditory Warning Signals for Mitigating Heavy Truck Rear-End Crashes

Rear-end crashes involving heavy trucks occur with sufficient frequency that they are a cause of concern within regulatory agencies. In 2006, there were approximately 23,500 rear-end crashes involving heavy trucks which resulted in 135 fatalities. As part of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) goal of reducing the overall number of truck crashes, the Enhanced Rear Signaling (ERS) for Heavy Trucks project was developed to investigate methods to reduce or mitigate those crashes where a heavy truck has been struck from behind by another vehicle. Researchers also utilized what had been learned in the rear-end crash avoidance work with light vehicles that was conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) serving as the prime research organization. ERS crash countermeasures investigated included passive conspicuity markings, visual signals, and auditory signals.
Technical Paper

Does the Interaction between Vehicle Headlamps and Roadway Lighting Affect Visibility? A Study of Pedestrian and Object Contrast

Vehicle headlamps and roadway lighting are the major sources of illumination at night. These sources affect contrast - defined as the luminance difference of an object from its background - which drives visibility at night. However, the combined effect of vehicle headlamps and intersection lighting on object contrast has not been reported previously. In this study, the interactive effects of vehicle headlamps and overhead lighting on object contrast were explored based on earlier work that examined drivers’ visibility under three intersection lighting designs (illuminated approach, illuminated box, and illuminated approach + box). The goals of this study were to: 1) quantify object luminance and contrast as a function of a vehicle’s headlamps and its distance to an intersection using the three lighting designs; and, 2) to assess whether contrast influences visual performance and perceived visibility in a highly dynamic intersection environment.
Technical Paper

EcoRouting Strategy Using Variable Acceleration Rate Synthesis Methodology

This paper focuses on the analysis of an EcoRouting system with minimum and maximum number of conditional stops. The effect on energy consumption with the presence and absence of road-grade information along a route is also studied. An EcoRouting system has been developed that takes in map information and converts it to a graph of nodes containing route information such as speed limits, stop lights, stop signs and road grade. A variable acceleration rate synthesis methodology is also introduced in this paper that takes into consideration distance, acceleration, cruise speed and jerk rate as inputs to simulate driver behavior on a given route. A simulation study is conducted in the town of Blacksburg, Virginia, USA to analyze the effects of EcoRouting in different driving conditions and to examine the effects of road grade and stop lights on energy consumption.
Technical Paper

Effects of Commercial Truck Configuration on Roll Stability in Roundabouts

This paper presents the results of a study on the effect of truck configurations on the roll stability of commercial trucks in roundabouts that are commonly used in urban settings with increasing frequency. The special geometric layout of roundabouts can increase the risk of rollover in high-CG vehicles, even at low speeds. Relatively few in-depth studies have been conducted on rollover stability of commercial trucks in roundabouts. This study uses a commercially available software, TruckSim®, to perform simulations on four truck configurations, including a single-unit truck, a WB-67 semi-truck, the combination of a tractor with double 28-ft trailers, and the combination of a tractor with double 40-ft trailers. A single-lane and multilane roundabout are modeled, both with a truck apron. Three travel movements through the roundabouts are considered, including right turn, through-movement, and left turn.
Technical Paper

Estimating Benefits of LDW Systems Applied to Cross-Centerline Crashes

Objective: Opposite-direction crashes can be extremely severe because opposing vehicles often have high relative speeds. The most common opposite direction crash scenario occurs when a driver departs their lane driving over the centerline and impacts a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction. This cross-centerline crash mode accounts for only 4% of all non-junction non-interchange crashes but 25% of serious injury crashes of the same type. One potential solution to this problem is the Lane Departure Warning (LDW) system which can monitor the position of the vehicle and provide a warning to the driver if they detect the vehicle is moving out of the lane. The objective of this study was to determine the potential benefits of deploying LDW systems fleet-wide for avoidance of cross-centerline crashes. Methods: In order to estimate the potential benefits of LDW for reduction of cross-centerline crashes, a comprehensive crash simulation model was developed.
Journal Article

Fleetwide Safety Benefits of Production Forward Collision and Lane Departure Warning Systems

Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems are two active safety systems that have recently been added to the U.S. New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) evaluation. Vehicles that pass confirmation tests may advertise the presence of FCW and LDW alongside the vehicle's star safety rating derived from crash tests. This paper predicts the number of crashes and injured drivers that could be prevented if all vehicles in the U.S. fleet were equipped with production FCW and/or LDW systems. Models of each system were developed using the test track data collected for 16 FCW and 10 LDW systems by the NCAP confirmation tests. These models were used in existing fleetwide benefits models developed for FCW and LDW. The 16 FCW systems evaluated could have potentially prevented between 9% and 53% of all rear-end collisions and prevented between 19% and 60% of injured (MAIS2+) drivers. Earlier warning times prevented more warnings and injuries.
Technical Paper

Has Electronic Stability Control Reduced Rollover Crashes?

Vehicle rollovers are one of the more severe crash modes in the US - accounting for 32% of all passenger vehicle occupant fatalities annually. One design enhancement to help prevent rollovers is Electronic Stability Control (ESC) which can reduce loss of control and thus has great promise to enhance vehicle safety. The objectives of this research were (1) to estimate the effectiveness of ESC in reducing the number of rollover crashes and (2) to identify cases in which ESC did not prevent the rollover to potentially advance additional ESC development. All passenger vehicles and light trucks and vans that experienced a rollover from 2006 to 2015 in the National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Database System (NASS/CDS) were analyzed. Each rollover was assigned a crash scenario based on the crash type, pre-crash maneuver, and pre-crash events.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Traumatic Brain Injuries Using the Next Generation of Simulated Injury Monitor (SIMon) Finite Element Head Model

The objective of this study was to investigate potential for traumatic brain injuries (TBI) using a newly developed, geometrically detailed, finite element head model (FEHM) within the concept of a simulated injury monitor (SIMon). The new FEHM is comprised of several parts: cerebrum, cerebellum, falx, tentorium, combined pia-arachnoid complex (PAC) with cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF), ventricles, brainstem, and parasagittal blood vessels. The model's topology was derived from human computer tomography (CT) scans and then uniformly scaled such that the mass of the brain represents the mass of a 50th percentile male's brain (1.5 kg) with the total head mass of 4.5 kg. The topology of the model was then compared to the preliminary data on the average topology derived from Procrustes shape analysis of 59 individuals. Material properties of the various parts were assigned based on the latest experimental data.
Journal Article

Linear Quadratic Game Theory Approach to Optimal Preview Control of Vehicle Lateral Motion

Vehicle stability is maintained by proper interactions between the driver and vehicle stability control system. While driver describes the desired target path by commanding steering angle and acceleration/deceleration rates, vehicle stability controller tends to stabilize higher dynamics of the vehicle by correcting longitudinal, lateral, and roll accelerations. In this paper, a finite-horizon optimal solution to vehicle stability control is introduced in the presence of driver's dynamical decision making structure. The proposed concept is inspired by Nash strategy for exactly known systems with more than two players, in which driver, commanding steering wheel angle, and vehicle stability controller, applying compensated yaw moment through differential braking strategy, are defined as the dynamic players of the 2-player differential linear quadratic game.
Journal Article

Location-Aware Adaptive Vehicle Dynamics System: Brake Modulation

A Location-Aware Adaptive Vehicle Dynamics System (LAAVDS) is developed to assist the driver in maintaining vehicle handling capabilities through various driving maneuvers. An integral part of this System is an Intervention Strategy that uses a novel measure of handling capability, the Performance Margin, to assess the need to intervene. Through this strategy, the driver's commands are modulated to affect desired changes to the Performance Margin in a manner that is minimally intrusive to the driver's control authority. Real-time implementation requires the development of computationally efficient predictive vehicle models. This work develops one means to alter the future vehicle states: modulating the driver's brake commands. This control strategy must be considered in relationship to changes in the throttle commands. Three key elements of this strategy are developed in this work.
Journal Article

Location-Aware Adaptive Vehicle Dynamics System: Concept Development

One seminal question that faces a vehicle's driver (either human or computer) is predicting the capability of the vehicle as it encounters upcoming terrain. A Location-Aware Adaptive Vehicle Dynamics (LAAVD) System is developed to assist the driver in maintaining vehicle handling capabilities through various driving maneuvers. In contrast to current active safety systems, this system is predictive rather than reactive. This work provides the conceptual groundwork for the proposed system. The LAAVD System employs a predictor-corrector method in which the driver's input commands (throttle, brake, steering) and upcoming driving environment (terrain, traffic, weather) are predicted. An Intervention Strategy uses a novel measure of handling capability, the Performance Margin, to assess the need to intervene. The driver's throttle and brake control are modulated to affect desired changes to the Performance Margin in a manner that is minimally intrusive to the driver's control authority.