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Army Tour

September 27, 2010

U.S. Army representatives from TACOM Life Cycle Management Command (LCMC), led by Major General Kurt Stein, and colleagues from the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) visited UMTRI on September 23. Several UMTRI staff members gave research demonstrations during a one-hour tour of UMTRI's research facilities.

Among the presentations was a hardware-in-the-loop simulation (HiL) addressing stability control for commercial vehicles. Electronics engineer Mark Gilbert and John Woodrooffe, head of UMTRI's Vehicle Safety Analytics Group demonstrated the technology, which is used in research addressing the prevention of commercial truck rollover accidents.

UMTRI research associate professor Matthew Reed demonstrated a research facility for studying heavy-truck cab ergonomics related to driver ingress and egress. Standing beside an adjustable, instrumented laboratory "buck" that simulates a conventional truck cab, Reed explained how the movements of truck drivers can be tracked with motion-capture technology as the subjects enter and exit the test rig. Their motions can be quantified and used to create predictive models of ingress/egress for drivers of different shapes and sizes across a wide range of step and handhold configurations. Reed explained that truck drivers are frequently injured due to slips and falls while entering and exiting the cab, and the design of the steps and handholds have been implicated in those injuries.

Research professor Lawrence Schneider, head of UMTRI's Biosciences Group, gave a tour of UMTRI's crash-lab facilities. Schneider highlighted state-of-the-art technology used in motor-vehicle safety and injury biomechanics research. Video footage showed the sled in action. Schneider also emphasized the utility of UMTRI's dual-impat sled in studying the biomechanics of side-impact crashes for occupants on the struck side of the vehicle.

photo of Larry Schneider giving tour of UMTRI sled lab

Pictured: UMTRI's Lawrence Schneider demonstrates UMTRI's crash lab facilities.

Scott Bogard, lead engineer in UMTRI's Engineering Systems Group, gave an overview of the commercial truck portion of the Integrated Vehicle-Based Safety Systems (IVBSS) program. The IVBSS program is a five-year, $32 million cooperative agreement with the U.S. DOT to test an integrated system of crash-warning technologies. Candid video footage showed commercial truck drivers receiving alerts from the system. Read more about the IVBSS heavy-truck field tests in the current issue of the UMTRI Research Review.

photo of Scott Bogard giving IVBSS presentation

Pictured: UMTRI's Scott Bogard gives an overview of the IVBSS program. Among those who visited UMTRI were Dr. David Gorsich, Chief Scientist, TARDEC; Paul Skalny, Director, National Automotive Center; and Dr. Jim Overholt, Senior Research Scientist-Robotics, TARDEC.

Pictured at top: Major General Kurt Stein, Commanding General TACOM LCMC, and colleagues listen to UMTRI's Matthew Reed discuss heavy-truck ergonomics.]

Photos by Joyce Daniels, UMTRI