Hrycay Consulting Engineers staff once again attended the 2014 User’s Forum for the software program Human Vehicle Environment (HVE) by Engineering Dynamics Corporation. HVE is a complete 3D simulation environment for vehicle design engineers, safety researchers, and accident reconstruction engineers. In addition to learning the new software features and networking with other HVE users, this event featured a symposium where software validation studies were presented. It is important to understand that HVE software is a physics simulator for the purposes of engineering analysis – it is not a graphics package for producing animations or visualizations. Recent advances include a wheel-impact model and the ability to put lights on vehicles so that they turn on and off with full control.
To kick off the 2014 year HCEi engineers travelled to Houston, Texas for the annual CDR Summit. This summit provided attendees with 3 days of updates and information regarding passenger vehicle event data recorders (EDR). Although the Houston weather did not live up to its reputation the summit was very worthwhile in providing HCEi engineers with insight regarding OEM EDR intentions, other user experiences with the newer Hyundai and Kia EDR tools and how others are using and interpreting data from EDR reports.
Congratulations to HCEi’s newest Certified Fire & Explosion Investigators (CFEI) and Certified Vehicle Fire Investigators (CVFI). Over the past few months 4 of HCEi’s engineers were able to earn the CFEI and CVFI designations offered through the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI).
During the first week of October HCEi engineers attended and participated in the 2013 Vehicle Fire, Arson and Explosion Investigation Science and Technology Seminar hosted by NAFI in Lexington, KY. During the course of the seminar the engineers were able to participate in the live burn of two vehicles as well as practice their vehicle fire investigation skills on ten other pre-burnt vehicles. Presentations on investigation methods, pattern analysis and vehicle systems were also given over the four days. A major highlight of the seminar was that four of HCEi’s engineers wrote the NAFI Certified Vehicle Fire Investigator (CVFI) examination and all earned the CVFI designation.
Participation in this IAAI session provided HCEi engineers with the opportunity to practice their vehicle fire investigation skills on 10 pre-burnt vehicles. The engineers were given full access to the burnt vehicles and allowed to formulate hypotheses as to the origin and cause of the fires. After the investigation period, videos of the actual fires were shown to allow the participants to compare their findings to the actual origin and cause of the fires. Overall it was a great day for honing our origin and cause skills.
During the first week of June 2013, HCEI engineers participated in the IAAI Ontario Chapter Fire Investigation Seminar. Topics presented included the chemistry of fire, vehicle fires, explosion investigation and the use of 3-D scan tools to capture scene evidence. The seminar also included a live burn session where a number of intentionally set fires in a house were investigated by teams of attendees. The team’s findings were then presented at the end of the seminar followed by a comparison of the investigation findings to video evidence of the actual fire. It was a great week for networking and practicing our fire investigation skills.
At this year’s ARC-CSI Crash Conference HCEi engineers participated as part of the Boot Camp Crash Team. As part of the Boot Camp we were able to plan and carry out full scale collisions allowing us to gain further insight into the specific vehicle dynamic and biomechanical aspects of various types of collisions. We instrumented vehicles with accelerometers, yaw rate sensors, GPS speed sensors and video cameras while Anthropomorphic Test Devices (ATDs) and instrumented human test subjects were used to gain occupant response data. After the collisions took place we extracted the data available (including the airbag control modules), analyzed it and then presented the results on the last day of the conference to all attendees as part of a technical session. Some highlights of the conference included the use of a remote drive system used to safely perform high speed collisions and participating as a human test subject for city bus crash tests.
For more information go to http://www.arccsi.com/
The Niagara Falls Chapter of the Ontario Insurance Adjusters Association (OIAA) hosted this year’s annual conference. HRYCAY Consulting Engineers participated as an exhibitor. We enjoyed seeing some familiar faces and it was a great opportunity to network. Congratulations to Mrs. Camille LeRose, Claims Supervisor at Crawford Global Technical Services who was the winner of our iPod mini door prize.
For more information go to https://www.oiaa.com/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=65
Employees from Hrycay Consulting Engineers attended the 2013 Human Vehicle Environment (HVE) user’s forum held by Engineering Dynamics Corporation in San Diego, California.
Attending the forum provided our staff with the opportunity to learn recent advances in the popularly used crash simulation software which included information on vehicle hydroplaning, tire blowouts, rollovers, trailer separations and wheel interactions with vehicles or fixed objects such as curbs. Also included in the forum were a series of workshops in 3-D Vehicle and collision simulation and modelling.
The HVE software is extremely accurate when compared to actual staged collision tests and has become a benchmark tool in accident reconstruction. HVE remains an industry leader in simulation software, allowing users to simulate and predict actual events with a high degree of certainty and accuracy. Since it is such a powerful tool, it is important for engineers and users to keep abreast of changes and upgrades to the software as well as exercising great care to ensure that all aspects of the simulation are prepared and used correctly.
As modeling and simulation technologies continue to advance it is important for the experts in the accident reconstruction field to stay current with new technologies and be able to use any potentially relevant methods to ensure that the most accurate conclusions are reached.
The GPS (Global Positioning System) is a navigational tool available to the public, comprising in part a network of satellites in orbit broadcasting signals to GPS receivers on earth. Due in large part to the very accurate clocks in the system, a GPS receiver that receives a number of these signals simultaneously can then establish its location on earth. Some GPS receiver models have the capability to record a history of the latitude and longitude co-ordinates at known times, and these may later be downloaded and viewed on a computer using applicable software. Effectively, this provides the equivalent of a bread crumb trail of the path taken by the receiver, although the frequency of the data points can vary substantially from one model to another, and it may not be adjustable by the user. By plotting the information on a map, the trail can be viewed and the position-time history of the vehicle may become evident. The ability to obtain data from a GPS device that was present in a vehicle during a crash could therefore provide data that would interest an investigator. This paper examines the accuracy of the trail history recorded on several GPS devices of different brands and price levels, for the purpose of determining the accuracy to a known baseline trail established with an engineering-grade GPS data logging unit. Units available for approximately $100 up to one valued at over $1000 were used, with the latter unit design ed for aviation use in addition to automotive use. Of particular interest was whether or not the recorded trail data could show subtle driver actions such as complete, or even partial, lane changes. For this research, the test vehicle was driven on a chosen course involving accelerating from a stop to highway speeds, steady cruising, and slowing to a stop. Various steering actions including lane changes were used. The resulting test data was compared. Subsequent testing compared the results from two units of the same brand and model.