Justin P. Schorr, Ph.D., Principal Collision / Reconstruction Engineer, President of DJS Associates, Inc.
Heading northbound on a sunny day, a stone mason operating a super duty “work” type truck went to execute a U-turn at a signal-controlled intersection. There were no sight distance limitations and no signs indicating that U-turns were prohibited. He testified that while turning from the left northbound travel lane, he was “rear-ended” by a Toyota passenger vehicle, which was also in the left lane, behind him. Simple rear-end collision… right? [Stealing a line from my father which he stole from Paul Harvey and subsequently beat into the ground] “And now for the rest of the story.”
The dispute is as follows:
While the Toyota operator agreed that she was in the left lane and that the truck was making a U-turn – her claim was that the truck began its turn from the adjacent lane (immediately to her right) and then turned across the left lane, cutting her off. In addition to no measurements being recorded at the scene and the absence of any witnesses, by the time the case reached litigation neither vehicle was available for inspection. However, several photographs were taken which showed damage to the vehicles and the point of rest position of the truck. Through the use of the vehicle specifications along with the damage photographs, to-scale three-dimensional computer models of each vehicle was created which accurately reflected the damage profiles shown in the photographs.
Dr. Justin Schorr joins Marc Hoag, Dr. Martin Adler (Netherlands), and Dr. Henning Lategahn (Germany) for the Season 3 Finale of Autonomous Cars with Marc Hoag. Their discussion on nearly every angle surrounding autonomous vehicles ranges in topic from technology to societal impacts, and everything in between.
Listen to the podcast here – https://www.podbean.com/media/share/dir-kdzqx-6299ada
Justin P. Schorr, Ph.D., Principal Collision Reconstruction / Transportation Engineer with DJS Associates, can be reached via email at experts@forensicDJS.com or via phone at 215-659-2010.
Justin P. Schorr, Ph.D, Principal Collision Reconstruction / Transportation Engineer ::::
A collision occurred when a school bus moved from the right lane of a limited access highway onto the rightside shoulder and contacted a disabled vehicle. It was dark and the disabled vehicle on the shoulder was not illuminated. The operator of the school bus testified that a tow truck located in the lane to his left executed a lane change, forcing him off the roadway and onto the shoulder into the disabled vehicle. The operator of the tow truck testified that the disabled vehicle was his intended “pickup,” but as he went to move from the center lane to the right lane to access the disabled vehicle, the school bus was trying to squeeze by him by passing him on the right, resulting in the collision.
Two forms of event data were available for analysis – video from the tow truck and engine control module data from both the tow truck and the bus. This data allowed for an accurate plotting of the speed of both vehicles prior to and at the time of the incident. Since the vehicles occupied the same place at the same time during the collision (i.e. the tow truck was touching the bus), the event data could be correlated such that their relative positions leading up to the collision could be plotted to scale. The video data also included a rearview camera making it so the position of the bus in the right lane as it approached the tow truck (which was initially in the center lane) could be seen. This data confirmed the independent correlation and plotting of the speed data from each vehicle.
Justin P. Schorr, Ph.D., Collision Reconstruction / Transportation Engineer ::::
Recently the United States House of Representatives passed H. R. 3388: “Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Research In Vehicle Evolution Act” or the “SELF DRIVEAct”.
Here are 5 things to know about that Bill:
1. The purpose of the bill is to create a Federal Standard for Autonomous Vehicle development. The text of the bill reads: “The purpose of this Act is to memorialize the Federal role in ensuring the safety of highly automated vehicles as it relates to design, construction, and performance, by encouraging the testing and deployment of such vehicles.” In the short term, the bill, if signed into law, would amend the United States Code to allow the Federal Government to issue National Standards related to Autonomous Vehicles and the environment surrounding their development, testing and deployment.
For anyone following the regulatory developments surrounding the issue, this comes as no surprise given that nearly all related legislation has included the notion that discontinuity in state and local regulations would serve as physical, economical and developmental “road blocks” in realizing an autonomous driving environment.
Justin P. Schorr, Ph.D is scheduled to be a speaker, as well as a panel moderator, for several presentations on Autonomous Vehicle Technology. Dr. Justin Schorr is a post-doctoral researcher and adjunct professor at George Washington University (GWU) teaching Sustainable Urban Dynamics and Intelligent Transportation Systems. Justin’s first exposure to autonomous vehicles came when he was a researcher for the National Crash Analysis Center headquartered at GWU. He eventually became the lead researcher at the vehicle instrumentation and driver simulation laboratory in the Center for Intelligent Systems Research at GWU. Justin went on to teach the Intelligent Transportation Systems class to both graduate students and undergraduate students at GWU. Justin has also published papers on Autonomous Vehicles including a paper in the peer reviewed Journal of Intelligent Transportation Systems. As an engineer with DJS Associates, Justin provides expert analysis to law firms, insurance companies and government entities for collision reconstruction, highway safety, traffic and transportation matters, as well as autonomous vehicle technology. Dr. Justin Schorr can be reached via email at experts@forensicDJS.com or phone at 215-659-2010.