Industry Update: Robo-Mania

Whether you are partial to Rosie from the Jetsons, Wall-e, R2-D2 and C3P0, Bender from Futurama or any of the other vast array of metallic beings, it appears that we’d better make friends with these bots now as their presence is becoming more and more prevalent.

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DJS Updates PC-Crash Software to the Latest Version (10.2), Acquires Additional License.

PC-Crash is a physics-based collision and trajectory simulation program used in the field of collision reconstruction.

Additionally, DJS has the most current version of PC-Rect (4.2). PC-Rect is a photo rectification program used in the field of collision reconstruction. PC-Crash and PC-Rect are tools which aid in the engineering analysis of a collision reconstruction.

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Photography: A Viable Measurement-Gathering Technique

Over the past few years, several software companies have been focused on advancing the ability of generating rich, reliable measurement data utilizing digital imagery. This methodology, also known as photogrammetry, is one in which three-dimensional data points can be located, relative to one another, by projecting vectors from common features found in photographs through 3D space.

Though this method can serve as an alternative to traditional measurement techniques on its own, in certain scenarios our experience has been that to achieve optimal results, a combination of photogrammetry and highly accurate reference measurements should be the standard.

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GPS Datalogger

DJS Adds New Test Device to its Arsenal of Technology Equipment

DJS recently expanded its testing capabilities with the addition of a new GPS datalogger.

The datalogger is more advanced than standard consumer GPS sensors, like the sensors in smartphones and standalone GPS units, measuring both position and speed to greater accuracy. Specifically, the true speed measurement is within 0.1mph of the recorded value captured by the datalogger. This new equipment measures highly accurate acceleration and brake data and allows us to test typical vehicle maneuvers associated with collision reconstructions, such as the acceleration during a left turn or the effects of ABS on brake distance.

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Watch Your Step!

Carl Berkowitz, Ph.D., PE, Transportation Safety Consultant ::::

Case Synopsis: A 47-year-old woman slipped on the icy platform of the train station while boarding, causing her to fall into the gap between the railcar and the platform and suffered serious injuries.

Engineering Analysis: While the plaintiff was attempting to board the train, she stepped into the open gap between the platform and the railroad car. Even though the plaintiff’s right foot was already on the train, her left foot slipped due to an icy condition on the platform. It was argued that if the railroad car had been at the same level as the platform, and if the gap had been a reasonable four to seven inches wide, her foot would have merely slid onto the car and it would have been extremely unlikely she would have been injured. Testimony by railroad witnesses indicated the car was four to five inches higher than the platform, and the gap between the platform and the train was 12 inches.

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Winter is Coming

Winter is Coming!

Johann Szautner, PE, Civil Engineer ::::

The Problem: Statistics kept by the Federal Highway Administration illustrate the prevalence and danger of snowy and icy roads. Nearly 70 percent of the U.S. population lives in snowy regions. Over 1,300 people are killed and more than 116,800 people are injured in vehicle crashes on snowy, slushy or icy pavement annually.

The Accident: On an early winter morning a police officer received a dispatch call to investigate a motor vehicle accident. When he arrived at the scene, he found vehicle #1 on the shoulder, of a curvy and steeply sloping rural highway facing downgrade, and vehicle #2 in the adjacent travel lane also facing downgrade. Both drivers, severely injured, were already taken to a hospital. The officer noted in his report that the speed limit in the area of the accident is 45 MPH, and that icy road conditions existed. The driver of vehicle #1 started to negotiate a curve when he hit an area of ice on the roadway and lost control of his vehicle, causing it to spin into the opposite travel lane, where it was struck by vehicle #2 on the driver’s side door. The officer concluded that vehicle #1 was driving too fast for conditions and not staying in his lane. The driver of vehicle #1 sustained a severe brain injury, while driver of vehicle #2 completely recovered from his injuries.

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