Guido Korlath, Dipl. -lng.Dr.techn.The Human Factor in Off-Road Mobility
A Simulation Approach to Assess the Influence of Human Reactions and
Mission Planning Strategies on Off-Road Mobility
Even vehicles of
highest development level equipped with all available features for
perfect off-road capability are still driven – active
by driver or programmed to act autonomous – by human beings.
All technical aids to enhance off-road mobility are developed and validated
for or under more or less ideal circumstances. In most of the cases,
when a skilled driver operates a vehicle, they proof to work perfect.
But what would be the result, if subjective driver decisions, especially
when they are obviously wrong, can not be compensated by the vehicle,
or, if a mission strategy brings an operator in situations, where he
will be forced to act knowingly against given algorithms of the driving
aids in order to maintain motion of the vehicle.
The presented paper shows a first simulation approach to analyze subjective
operator decisions on mobility behavior of off-road vehicles. Exemplary
results show, what could be expected, if it comes to a very individual
situation-dependent decision for braking, accelerating, stopping etc.
Another important field of interest is mission planning. If mission
planning forces a driver to undertake reactions, which turned out to
have a negative influence on mobility performance, parameter varying
simulation runs can help to set action in the run-up to be prepared
for such situations or even avoid them.
Using the simulation program WINMAKU? in its newest release, it will
be possible to simulate such influences of subjective human reactions.
Based on standardized reaction patterns, mobility parameters are calculated.
In the form of speed vs. distance – diagrams, the speed characteristic
over a mission profile is predicted and critical situations due to
driver’s reactions can be identified. Corrective reactions on
wrong reactions – i. e. a driver realizes, that an action seems
to lead the vehicle to a fatal mobility behavior and sets therefore
another reaction – have not been taken into account. This simplification
is well reasonable, because in reality, there is often not time enough
to compensate or overcome totally a wrong decision by an other one.
The presented simulation approach takes into account a wide range of
possible human influences on off-road vehicle performance for perfect
planning of tactical missions and for operational mission passing and
shows the significant impact of human reactions and decisions on off-road