Category Archives: Publications

June 1 – 4, 2014 – Presentation and Attendance at CMRSC – Vancouver, BC

HCEI engineers were presenters and attended the 24th Canadian Multidisciplinary Road Safety Conference in Vancouver, BC. The presentation and peer reviewed published paper presented by HCEI was in regards to development of crash modification factors as they relate to cycling facilities. It was a great research topic for HCEI which was able to utilize our strengths in roadway and active transportation design with our accident reconstruction capabilities. Overall the conference was very beneficial to keep us enlightened on forthcoming research regarding all aspects of road safety. For more information on our paper, presentation and other research projects please contact our office.

April 1, 2014 – 2014-01-0501 – The Use of Available Qualcomm Data in Accident Reconstruction and Analysis

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Abstract:
Whether large or small, a truck fleet operator has to know the locations of its vehicles in order to best manage its business. On a day to day basis loads need to be delivered or picked up from customers, and other activities such as vehicle maintenance or repairs have to be routinely accommodated. Some fleets use aftermarket electronic systems for keeping track of vehicle locations, driver hours of service and for wirelessly text messaging drivers via cellular or satellite networks. Such aftermarket systems include GPS (Global Positioning System) technology, which in part uses a network of satellites in orbit. This makes it possible for the fleet manager to remotely view the location of a vehicle and view a map of its past route. These systems can obtain data directly from vehicle sensors or from the vehicle network, and therefore report other information such as fuel economy. The fleet manager can receive alerts when high-level brake applications occur, which could be an indication of tailgating or aggressive driving behavior.

April 16, 2012 – 2012-01-0997 – GPS Device Comparison for Accident Reconstruction

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Abstract:
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.

April 16, 2012 – 2012-01-0597 – Low Speed Acceleration of Tractor-Semitrailers Equipped with Automated Transmissions

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Abstract:
The distance, velocity and acceleration characteristics versus time of heavy trucks for use in accident reconstruction have been the subject of studies by Grimes and others. To date, the majority of the research has been done using tractor-semitrailers equipped with standard transmissions. In recent years, as transmission technology has improved, automated and automatic transmissions are becoming popular on North American roadways. A series of tests were performed to document the acceleration characteristics of two different tractors, a 2007 Volvo VNL and a 2011 Freightliner Cascadia, both equipped with automated transmissions towing both empty and loaded semitrailers. The vehicles were instrumented with a Racelogic™ VBOX III GPS data logging device that measured speed. Other vehicle parameters were logged using the recording software manufactured for the specific engine manufacturer. This paper presents the data from these tests and discusses the acceleration characteristics of heavy trucks equipped with automated transmissions. Unlike fully automatic transmissions, automated transmissions have a clutch. Most have a clutch pedal but the clutch pedal is only utilized when the vehicle is first put in motion.

April 12, 2010 – 2010-01-1002 – Chrysler Airbag Control Module (ACM) Data Reliability

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Abstract:
Collision data stored in the Airbag Control Module (ACM) of some Chrysler vehicles has become available to accident investigators through the Bosch Crash Data Retrieval (CDR) system, beginning with the 2005 model year. An event data recorder (EDR) that can record pre-deployment vehicle speed and other parameters such as brake pedal application and throttle application is incorporated into the ACM, or Occupant Restraint Controller (ORC) using Chrysler terminology. The accuracy of this data under different driving conditions has not been extensively tested and reported. The primary purpose of this paper is to evaluate the accuracy of the data recorded in the Chrysler ACM under test conditions. Establishing the reliability of this information is important, if it is to be relied upon by the investigator. These results can be used to quantify the accuracy of ACM reported pre-crash data for use in engineering analysis of automobile crashes.

April 20, 2009 – 2009-01-0876 – Validating Speed Data from Cummins Engine Sudden Deceleration Data Reports

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Abstract:
Electronic Control Modules (ECM) on Heavy Duty truck engines have the ability to control or monitor important engine and vehicle parameters. Examples of these parameters are fuel consumption, cruise control operation and oil pressure. Under certain conditions, many can also record parameters that are useful in accident reconstruction. Cummins engines are commonly found on highway tractors on the road today. In a heavy vehicle equipped with a Cummins engine, a hard brake application or a collision with an object can create a Sudden Deceleration Data (SDD) Report on the ECM. Since this data reports second-by-second speed information, it can be very useful in the analysis of an accident. Establishing the reliability of this information is important, if it is to be used by an accident investigator. This paper explores the data recorded on a Cummins engine ECM created during a series of acceleration, cruising, and braking tests.

October 7, 2008 – 2008-01-2708 – The Reliability of Snapshot Data from Caterpillar Engines for Accident Investigation and Analysis

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Abstract:
The Electronic Control Modules (ECM) installed on heavy truck engines record data during normal operation. While their primary purpose is to control the mechanical and electrical systems on the engine, they monitor other vehicle systems as well. Stored data from the ECM can be downloaded into reports that are useful for tracking fleet performance, scheduling maintenance or troubleshooting engine problems. Many of the current production heavy trucks also record event information that may be useful when analyzing or reconstructing accidents. It is not uncommon for a vehicle involved in a frontal accident to experience sudden decelerations and/or sustain damage to the coolant system or rupture the oil pan. Sustained data outside normal operating parameters from sensors on the engine will typically trigger the ECM to generate a fault code. On a Caterpillar ECM, a short event record called a Diagnostic Snapshot may also be generated with a fault code. Numerous operator controls, engine sensor parameters and vehicle speeds from the truck/tractor are documented for a specified period of time both prior to and subsequent to the trigger condition. The Caterpillar ECM monitors the vehicle speed and is capable of generating what is known as a Quick Stop Snapshot record (from here on referred to as “Quick Stop”) if the vehicle decelerates at greater than or equal to a predetermined rate. A Quick Stop also logs engine parameters and operator control information. This paper discusses the timing and accuracy of data recorded by Diagnostic Snapshot and Quick Stop records and the reliability of the data therein for use in collision analysis.

April 11, 2005 – 2005-01-1177 – The Application and Reliability of Commercial Vehicle Event Data Recorders for Accident Investigation and Analysis

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Abstract:
Heavy duty truck and engine manufacturers have been installing various forms of electronic Event Data Recorders (EDRs) on their products over the past decade, the most common being the Electronic Control Module (ECM). The primary purpose of the ECM is to control electrical and mechanical systems on the engine. As well, it monitors other vehicle systems. The ECM stores data in a manner that allows reports to be generated that aid fleet managers to monitor the performance of their equipment and that assist mechanics to diagnose problems. Some of the data in these reports can be of value in accident investigation and analysis even though these reports may not have been originally intended for this purpose. This paper discusses the specifics of data collection from the various ECMs and the reliability of such data when used for the purposes of accident analysis based on testing.