Investigating vehicle behavior on a sloped terrain surface
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Sloped medians provide a run-off area for errant vehicles so that they can be safely stopped off-road with or without barriers placed in the sloped median. However, in order to optimize the design of sloped medians and the containment barriers, it is essential to accurately model the behavior of vehicles on such sloped terrain surfaces. In this study, models of a vehicle fleet comprising a small sedan and a pickup truck and sloped terrain surface are developed in CarSim™ to simulate errant vehicle behavior on sloped median. Full-scale crash tests were conducted using the vehicle fleet driven across a 9.754 meters wide median with a 6:1 slope at speeds ranging from 30 to 70 km/h. Measured data such as the lateral accelerations of the vehicle as well as chassis rotations (roll and pitch) were synchronized with the vehicle motion obtained from the video data. The measured responses were compared with responses obtained from simulation in CarSim™ to validate the vehicle and slope terrain models. In addition, snapshots of recorded video footage from the tests were compared to CarSim™ video footage to show the fidelity of the simulation. The developed models will be used to carry out parametric studies to optimize the design of sloped medians and containment barriers. Copyright © 2014 SAE International.