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Technical Paper

Using NFPA Compliant Fire Apparatus Vehicle Data Recorders for Collision Investigation - Weldon Type 6444

The use of Heavy Vehicle Event Data Recorders (HVEDRs) in collision analysis has been well recognized in past research. Numerous publications have been presented illustrating data accuracy both in normal operating conditions as well as under emergency braking conditions. These data recording devices are generally incorporated into Electronic Control Modules (ECMs) for engines or Electronic Control Units (ECUs) for other vehicular components such as the Anti-Lock Brake System. Other research has looked at after-market recorders, including publically-available Global Positioning System (GPS) devices and fleet management tools such as Qualcomm. In 2009, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) incorporated a Vehicle Data Recorder (VDR) component into their Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus. The purpose of this was to “…capture data that can be used to promote safe driving and riding practices.” The Standard requires minimum data elements, recording times, and sample rates.
Journal Article

Timing and Synchronization of the Event Data Recorded by the Electronic Control Modules of Commercial Motor Vehicles - DDEC V

It is well recognized that Heavy Vehicle Event Data Recorder (HVEDR) technology has been incorporated in the Electronic Control Modules (ECMs) on many on-highway commercial motor vehicles. The dynamic time-series data recorded by these HVEDRs typically include vehicle speed, engine speed, brake and clutch pedal status, and accelerator pedal position. With specific respect to Detroit Diesel ECMs, data are recorded surrounding certain events at a rate of 1.0 Hz. In this research, controlled testing was conducted to determine the time differences between the values being generated by the sourcing sensors and the interpreted data being broadcast on the vehicle's SAE J1939 controller area network (CAN). To accomplish this, raw sensor data as provided to the ECM was monitored, as were the subsequent J1939 CAN transmissions from the ECM.
Journal Article

Data Extraction Methods and their Effects on the Retention of Event Data Contained in the Electronic Control Modules of Detroit Diesel and Mercedes-Benz Engines

The Electronic Control Modules (ECMs) aboard many on-highway commercial motor vehicles contain event data useful to the investigation and reconstruction of motor vehicle collisions [1,2,3,4]. Methods of extracting such event data include: connecting to the ECMs through the vehicle's Off-Board Diagnostics Connector (a 6 or 9 pin connector typically found inside the vehicle near the driver's seat); connecting directly to any ECMs while they are still connected to the engine; and connecting directly to the ECMs after they are removed from the engine (a method typically referred to as a Bench image). This research is an attempt to document the effects of these data-extraction methods on the retention of the event data contained in the ECMs of the on-highway commercial motor vehicle engines manufactured by Detroit Diesel and Mercedes-Benz.
Technical Paper

Simulating the Effect of Collision-Related Power Loss on the Event Data Recorders of Heavy Trucks

Event Data Recorder (EDR) technology has been incorporated into the Electronic Control Modules (ECMs) of many on-highway heavy trucks. One benefit of this technology is its applicability to vehicle collision investigation and reconstruction ( Goebelbecker & Ferrone, 2000 ; van Nooten & Hrycay, 2005 ). However, collisions that cause extensive damage to the truck may cause a loss of electrical power to the ECM, which might interrupt the data storage process. This research is an attempt to determine the effects of power loss on heavy vehicle ECMs 1 , and the associated effects on data collected by the EDR function. Controlled testing was conducted with Detroit Diesel, Mercedes, Mack, Cummins, and Caterpillar engines, and power failures were created by artificially interrupting power between the vehicle's battery and ECM at predetermined intervals. EDR data from the test vehicles were extracted after each test, and the presence or absence of new data was examined.