Computer Simulation of Vehicle Path

James R. Schmidt, Jr., BSME, Collision Reconstruction Engineering Analyst

While pulling aerial imagery for a case I was working on, I noticed that the imagery had captured a tractor-trailer turning toward a truck parking stall at a rest stop.

I immediately thought to myself… I must simulate the path of this truck.  Why?  Because I’m an engineer, this is the sort of thing that interests me, and to remind you, the reader, that DJS Associates has the capability to provide this service, among many others, in the event you have a case where simulation of vehicle movements may be a useful or even necessary part of an analysis.

So, without having inspected either the site or the tractor-trailer, I was able to perform a desktop-only evaluation of the turning maneuver of this truck.  The aerial image is essentially already to-scale, and the dimensions of the truck, including its axle positions, could be seen in, and measured from the aerial image.  A PC-Crash computer simulation was setup and iterated to match the two positions of the tractor-trailer show in the aerial imagery, while also having the tractor-trailer come to a stop in the parking stall where it was headed.

By now, you know that I enjoy calculating vehicle speeds from video, evaluating the effects of sun glare as well as performing computer simulations of tractor-trailer turning maneuvers.   Whether for an actual case that I’m working on, or even in my spare time for fun, I love these types of evaluations and you can be assured the work-product produced is a testament to that!

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