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NADS on-road instrumented vehicle

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Toyota Camry XLE Instrumented Vehicle


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NADS Instrumented Vehicle

This Toyota Camry XLE is an on-road vehicle which also supports a simulator mode of operation. To support data collection, this vehicle is instrumented with cameras, sensors and a custom addressable nine-inch color multi-function touchscreen display in the dashboard. All instrumentation and cameras are cleanly integrated into the vehicle’s interior where there are no cables visible to the driver. While this vehicle can be used for extended field trials with no experimenter, there are also custom programmable switches in the rear seat that can be operated by an experimenter for a variety of uses including inserting data markers for study specific purposes. The vehicle has been used for a connected vehicle study for NHTSA and pedal response study for an industry sponsor. The instrumentation hardware and software has been sourced and developed by NADS so it can be duplicated for larger fleet of instrumented vehicles as needed.

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Instrumented vehicle in simulator mode

A unique feature of the instrumented vehicle is that it supports a simulator mode of operation. The vehicle has a drive-in booth in the garage at the NADS facility where it can be converted into a limited simulator within 15 minutes. The vehicle is parked in front of a 60 inch flat screen display that provides the visuals. The current configuration allows drivers to respond to pre-recorded videos of simulation drives by pressing the accelerator or brake pedals. Future enhancements include adding rotating pads under the front wheels to support steering as well integration with a miniSim™ for real-time driver-in-the-loop simulation.

Instrumentation

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Instrumentation package

This vehicle features a versatile instrumentation package with the ability to collect data from multiple of sources. The vehicle has been designed to easily integrate with new sub-systems. The vehicle contains multiple repositionable video cameras for cab and roadway reviews.

List of instrumentation:

  • 3-axis accelerometer
  • Accelerator pedal
  • Brake pedal
  • Seat position
  • CAN messages through OBDII port
  • GPS position, time, signal quality
  • External sync signals to mark events
  • 4 cameras and microphone to capture video and audio
  • Horn enable switch and horn pushbutton
  • The ability to control vehicle functions in response to CAN bus messages (such as honking the horn)

Data Streams

Data

Update Rate

Data Source

Acceleration (X, Y, Z)

30Hz

Accelerometer

Accelerator pedal position

30Hz

CAN Bus / Special instrumentation

Brake pressure

30Hz

CAN Bus / Special instrumentation

Transmission gear position

30Hz

CAN Bus

Steering wheel angle

30Hz

CAN Bus

Speed

30Hz

CAN Bus

Odometer

1Hz

CAN Bus

Outside temperature

1Hz

CAN Bus

Seatbelt status

1Hz

CAN Bus

Acceleration

30Hz

CAN Bus

Low/High beam headlight status

1Hz

CAN Bus

Brake light status

30Hz

CAN Bus

Fog lamp status

1Hz

CAN Bus

Wheel speed

30Hz

CAN Bus

Airbag Deployment

1Hz

CAN Bus

Anti-block Brake System status

30Hz

CAN Bus

Cruise control status

1Hz

CAN Bus

Seat position and angle

 

Special instrumentation

GPS Time

5Hz

GPS system

Position: Latitude / Longitude / Elevation

5Hz

GPS system

GPS Quality

5Hz

GPS system

Video (4 streams)

30Hz

Video cameras

In vehicle audio (1 stream)

 

Microphone

 

The vehicle has the ability to read any data that’s on the CAN bus through the OBD II port. It also has additional sensors to provide more granular data for accelerator and brake pedals. Table 1presents a summary of the data that’s available through the various sensors.

Data Merge Tool

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Data merge tool

A custom written software suite enables experimenters to merge the video and data streams into one comprehensive package for data analysis. For each drive, the package consists of a synchronized data and video file as shown in Figure 4. This tool merges all data streams from different subsystems into one synchronized data file. It includes the frame number of all video streams in the merged data file. A lot of the raw data processing is performed in the creation of this merged file. The data from this file is ready to be used for analysis using 3rd party analysis tools. This data file contains data sampled at 30Hz.

Figure 4 shows a sample frame from the merged video file. It contains 3 different views of the participant and a forward view. The merged video file also shows a top down map of the test track where the data was collected. In the upper right part of the screen, it overlays the path that vehicle took through the track as well as the current location at each frame. The lower-right and bottom shows values from key data streams. The associated data file contains many more data streams.

Potential Future Enhancements

  • Augment simulation capabilities with rotating pads under front wheels and integration with miniSim.
  • Installation of an eye-tracker.
  • Installation of bio data packages (EEG, biopac).
  • Installation of a HUD (head-up display). Currently in discussions with Honeywell
  • Installation of additional cameras that record tire location relative to lane markers. This would be useful for validating lane keeping measures.

Test Courses

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Test track

There are two test tracks located within 90 minutes of Iowa City (Cedar Rapids and Newton) that can be used for studies that require access to closed roads and tracks.





Supporting Driving Simulator Validation

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Virtual Iowa City

The instrumented vehicle can be utilized for validation studies on our suite of simulators. We have virtually replicated surrounding portions of Iowa City in our driving simulators. These virtual replicas of real world locations can be utilized to run validation studies on simulation research.

We have in-house capability to model any other real world location in our driving simulators.

More information about Virtual Iowa City can be found here.


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Why is fidelity important?

As fidelity increases, so too does the transfer of training and the accuracy of assessment, particularly among experienced or expert drivers.

Lower fidelity simulation can be used for preparation and development of scenarios or study protocols without incurring the cost of high-fidelity simulation platforms. Lower fidelity simulation is also ideal for new driver training where full immersion is not necessary.

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