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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Simulation and Animation Tools for Analysis of Vehicle Collision: SMAC (Simulation Model of Automobile Collisions) and Carmma (Simulation Animations)


This document describes part of the work conducted under MOU324, related to the studies of vehicle collisions in vehicle-following operations. The goal of the study is to conduct vehicle dynamics and control analysis and to explore display methods so that analytical results can be visualized. This working paper is a description of the functional capabilities of a series of computer programs that can be used to investigate the consequences of vehicle collisions. The core element of the simulation tools for vehicle collision dynamics is SMAC (Simulation Model of Automobile Collisions) program. It has been used extensively in recent work at PATH to investigate the consequences of vehicle collisions and the effects of vehicle-following parameters on collisions. Another main tool is Carmma, which possesses animation capability for simulations. It has been used at PATH to create highway scenarios and to generate and/or animate vehicle simulations In this project it was deemed desirable to have an interface between the simulation and animation programs so that users can observe the vehicle movement profiles before and after a collision given the input scenarios for vehicle operations. Program functions and the interfaces between programs are outlined. Some simulation run cases are shown for various SMAC options implementing user-specified feedback controllers. The visual images captured during the case studies are also illustrated in this report. This document constitutes a simple yet thorough manual for the research tools developed for the subject matter.

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