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Developing and Testing an Autonomous All-Terrain Vehicle to Experimentally Test Rollover Incidents

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2019 ASABE Annual International Meeting  1901456.(doi:10.13031/aim.201901456)
Authors:   Hsiao-Yang Chou, Farzaneh Khorsandi
Keywords:   All-Terrain Vehicles, Crush Protection Device, Line-following, Machine Vision, Remote Control, Safety.

Abstract. The rollover crashes are the leading cause of fatalities in agricultural all-terrain vehicle (ATV) incidents. Crush Protection Device (CPD) is a passive safety structure that could protect the operator in ATV rollover incidents. There are some contradictions in the results of previous studies regarding the effectiveness of CPDs in protecting the operator in rollover incidents. Also, no study evaluated the CPD performance in agricultural ATV rollover incidents which usually happens at low speed. The CPD performance needs to be evaluated by conducting experimental rollover incident tests.

A remotely controlled ATV was developed to improve the repeatability and accuracy of ATV rollover tests. In this study, an ATV (4x4 Honda FourTrax Rancher 2018) with Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), independent rear suspension (IRS), and electric power steering (EPS) was used. The control system on this ATV contains three major components: (1) closed-loop steering control system with line-following feature for accurate ATV guidance, (2) remote cruise control module for ATV speed control, and (3) remote braking control system along with emergency engine shut-off module for safety purpose in rollover tests.

Performance of each component was examined by riding the remotely controlled ATV on a straight line. Repeatable rollover crashes are expected when riding on uneven terrain that contains slopes and bumps. Simulating rollover incident by a remotely controlled ATV can increase the reliability of CPD evaluation in field tests, and thus assist the improvement of future CPD design.

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