For More Information

Mike Manser
Program Manager
Human Factors Program
Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Texas A&M University System
3135 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-3135
ph. (512) 407-1172 Ext. 12172
m-manser@tti.tamu.edu

A 2006 Toyota Highlander serves as TTI’s on-road research vehicle. The principle system within the instrumented vehicle is the Dewetron DEWE5000 data acquisition integration system. Essentially a large portable computer, the DEWE5000 serves as the data acquisition device for all the peripheral systems in the vehicle. The DEWE5000 runs an Intel Pentium 4 processor at 2.8 Ghz. It has 512 MB of RAM and a 160 GB hard disk drive. It runs the Microsoft 2000 Operating System. The data collection is done in a virtual environment within Dewesoft version 6.2, an acquisition and post-processing software package made by Dewetron. The DEWE5000 is capable of sampling at a rate of 5000 Hz.

The DEWE5000 is mounted in place of the driver’s-side rear seat, which has been removed. In place of the seat is a wood table with the DEWE5000 securely fastened to the table using an OEM seat-mounting kit. The table itself is secured to the vehicle using the original seat-mounting anchor points. Also mounted to the table, near the rear of the vehicle is a Samlex 600 watt pure sine wave power inverter. This is connected to the Highlander’s battery using 2 gauge wire and a 60 amp fuse. It provides two standard 120 volt, 3 pronged outlets. A 6-outlet power strip is connected to each plug on the inverter to expand out capacity to power equipment.

A Trimble DSM232 Global Positioning System (GPS) is used to track the position of the subject vehicle. It employs a Differential GPS antenna which is mounted on the roof of the vehicle directly over the driver’s seat. The GPS system also used the Omnistar VBS Service as it provides sub-meter accuracy of position data. The GPS samples data at 10 Hz, a critical feature not available on most GPS systems. The receiver is mounted under the table holding the DEWE5000. A Vorad radar is mounted on the front of the vehicle to enable the collection of headway data, and to simply note the presence or absence of a lead vehicle.

An Assistware SAFETRAC is able to track the lateral lane position of the vehicle as well as the lane width and the lateral velocity. This is accomplished through the combination of a forward-looking video camera and sophisticated image processing software. Three potentiometers are used to collected data on the position of the brake pedal, the gas pedal and the steering wheel. A Crossbow Piezoresistive Accelerometer is used to collect acceleration data for 3-axis. It has a sensitivity of 0.6218 mV/g. The accelerometer is mounted on the same table as the DEWE5000 behind the driver.

Video data of the experiment is collected by three cameras. One camera, facing the participant, is a 170 degree, Wide Angle Bullet Color Camera (CFC2010WA). The camera uses the NTSC standard and has a resolution of 510 x 492. This camera is primarily used to observe driver head movements and general glance direction. An identical camera is mounted on an arm connected to the DEWE5000 mounting table and rising up between the front seats. This camera is positioned to observe driver hand positions and body movements from over the shoulder.

The Highlander is equipped with a larger alternator, radiator and fan coupling to provide stable power to the on-board systems. The interior of the vehicle includes side curtain airbags for added safety and an 8-way power seat in order to best accommodate test participants of all sizes.