http://kineticorp.com Forensic Engineering and Visualization Tue, 22 May 2018 19:00:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 http://kineticorp.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/cropped-favicon-32x32.jpg http://kineticorp.com 32 32 Train Collision Case Study http://kineticorp.com/train-collision-case-study-video/ Mon, 23 Apr 2018 19:46:58 +0000 http://kineticorp.com/?p=8799 A mechanical pick-up truck driver is struck by a train as it crosses the railroad tracks in a rural part of the Midwestern United States. A number of factors were seen as possible causes, including vehicle speeds, road conditions and visibility. Kineticorp team members, William Neale and Seth Miller, conducted… read more →

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A mechanical pick-up truck driver is struck by a train as it crosses the railroad tracks in a rural part of the Midwestern United States. A number of factors were seen as possible causes, including vehicle speeds, road conditions and visibility. Kineticorp team members, William Neale and Seth Miller, conducted on-site testing and analysis, and with the help of Neal Carter and others, produced several scenarios showing how this crash occurred and how it may have been avoided.

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Video Transcription

[Neal Carter]: As the train approached, in this case, a pickup truck was crossing the tracks. This was an area where there wasn’t a gate; there weren’t flashing lights to indicate when a train was coming, kind of a rural area.

[William Neale]: It’s just a packed earth roadway with a slight grade to the hill and then the train tracks, of course, sit higher and go across. In this crash, there is video from the front of the train, so you can actually see the utility truck come into view. And so, you can analyze the video to determine what the relatively unarguable facts about the case. What was the visibility of the train? What was the train’s visibility of the truck? What actions, if any, did the truck driver take in avoiding the crash? And so the video was able to help answer some of those questions.

One of my colleagues, Seth Miller, and I went to the scene. We were there to obtain a couple of things. One, we needed to obtain scan data of the scene. The scan data allows us to build a computer environment of the entire area and we use that computer environment to analyze the video.

[Seth Miller]: And we thoroughly document the area, we 3D scan up and down the train tracks, we take a ton of photos, but there was a particular tree stump in question that people were saying, “this tree was there at the time of the accident.” When we go there it’s just a stump and that was kind of the question. Did this tree block this guy’s view? After further analysis we see that this stump has been a stump for years. It’s all decayed on the inside so that wasn’t the one in question.

[William Neale]: We went back to photographs that were taken by the police and you can see the same stump that we found when we were out there. It was — the police had photographed it. In fact, the other experts that were saying that the stump had been cut down had it in their photographs, too. So, clearly the stump was there prior to the crash.

One of the reasons we wanted to do deceleration testing was to figure out what a typical vehicle, or in this case, the mechanical truck — how quickly could it have stopped had it applied full brakes? We did deceleration testing at the scene where we set up both cameras and a data acquisition device called “Larry’s Lap Timer.” And it measures your position over time so you can calculate speed and then, of course, calculate change in speed over change in time, which is going to be deceleration. What we found from the testing is, this is not a concrete or an asphalt paved surface that has a bit more grip to it than the packed earth. So, it takes longer to stop on the surface, but even though it takes longer there’s still some available friction and given the speed that we know this truck was coming in in the video and the available friction that the driver had to stop, had he applied full brakes he definitely would’ve avoided the crash.

[Seth Miller]: We just wanted to see if the guy was going the speed limit and he slammed on his brakes how long would it have taken him to stop? So we did multiple runs to kind of get an average of that.

So, once we track the video and we obtain train speeds and vehicle speeds and we establish line-of-sight; when the car–the driver of the truck should’ve been able to see the train, with that information we were able to test out different scenarios.

[Neal Carter]: I took the motion of the pickup and I simulated that motion and that played a key role in this because we knew the location of the truck through time from the video, but we wanted to see, okay, is that consistent with a driver braking as he approached the tracks? And what we found was it was consistent with very light braking or no braking at all. Even just kind of coasting. It was a pretty heavy truck, so just coasting it would decelerate quite a bit, which is an indication that the driver didn’t even look to see the train coming, unfortunately.

In one scenario, we figured out when the driver of the truck could’ve seen the train and gave a 1.5 second perception-response time and braked the truck fully and we found out that the truck stopped about 18 feet short of the track. In another scenario we said, “okay maybe 1.5 seconds isn’t enough to allow him to react. So, we actually gave him a longer reaction time and full braking and found that he could still stop short of the train tracks. And the last scenario, we gave the truck driver 1.5 seconds to respond to the train and then found that he can actually still avoid the train even by lightly braking. In other words, had the driver seen the train, reacted to the train, and even lightly braked he wouldn’t have crossed the trains path and ultimately the accident wouldn’t have happened.

[William Neale]: The conclusion was, we’re not even asking this driver to maximize the braking to avoid the crash. They just have to be reasonably attentive and apply reasonable braking and they would still avoid the crash.

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KFSRT EP13 – Legal Web Marketing Today http://kineticorp.com/kfsrt-ep13-legal-web-marketing-today/ Mon, 12 Feb 2018 17:50:38 +0000 http://kineticorp.com/?p=8417 Typically Kineticorp’s Forensic Science Round Table covers subjects related directly to accident reconstruction and litigation. In this episode, we take a look at something that impacts us and our clients, but isn’t directly related to accident reconstruction.   I had a chance to sit and down with my friend Dan Goldstein of… read more →

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Typically Kineticorp’s Forensic Science Round Table covers subjects related directly to accident reconstruction and litigation. In this episode, we take a look at something that impacts us and our clients, but isn’t directly related to accident reconstruction.   I had a chance to sit and down with my friend Dan Goldstein of Page 1 Solutions to discuss legal web marketing. It’s a topic outside of forensic science community, but it really has an impact on everyone’s business including attorneys. To listen to more of our podcasts, or to sign up for updates, visit our podcast page. 

 

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Motorcycle Crash Research http://kineticorp.com/high-side-motorcycle-crash-research/ Mon, 05 Feb 2018 17:50:29 +0000 http://kineticorp.com/?p=8291 Nathan Rose and Neal Carter made a trip to Edward’s Corner, an infamous portion of Mulholland Highway in California, which is notorious for motorcycle accidents. They used their own on-site research as well as analysis of videos obtained from YouTube to help determine some factors in highside motorcycle crashes. Learn… read more →

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Nathan Rose and Neal Carter made a trip to Edward’s Corner, an infamous portion of Mulholland Highway in California, which is notorious for motorcycle accidents. They used their own on-site research as well as analysis of videos obtained from YouTube to help determine some factors in highside motorcycle crashes.

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Video Transcription

[Nathan Rose]: This research we’re doing gives us additional data that we can rely on as we analyze crashes, what occurred. Most of the crashes we analyze, we, of course, don’t have video of. We’re having to piece together what occurred after the fact based on the physical evidence. So, if we have a crash that’s captured on video, that allows us to determine for that instance what the physical evidence means based on the video and then we can take that knowledge to a case where we don’t have video, we just have the physical evidence and it gives us additional data about what that physical evidence means.

We’re going to Edward’s Corner. Edward’s Corner is a curve on the Mulholland Highway where a lot of motorcycle crashes occur. There’s a gentleman who has a YouTube channel where he posts videos of motorcycles crashing on Edward’s Corner. And so, we’re going to Edward’s Corner today to do some documentation of that corner with a total station, with a three dimensional laser scanner, these are devices that will give us three dimensional data about those corners, like the radius of the curve, cross slope, things of that nature that will help us with determining what occurred in the videos we’re analyzing.

[Neal Carter]: Typically, most people use YouTube for entertainment. We’re actually using it for research in this context.

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Heavy Truck Crash Reconstruction http://kineticorp.com/heavy-truck-crash-reconstruction/ Tue, 30 Jan 2018 16:00:59 +0000 http://kineticorp.com/?p=8078 Heavy Truck Crash Reconstruction: Over time, physical evidence like tire marks, debris and gouges in the road can fade and deteriorate making the evidence gathering process more difficult. Nathan Rose received a call about this collision just days after it occurred. Having a chance to review the site quickly gave… read more →

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Heavy Truck Crash Reconstruction: Over time, physical evidence like tire marks, debris and gouges in the road can fade and deteriorate making the evidence gathering process more difficult. Nathan Rose received a call about this collision just days after it occurred. Having a chance to review the site quickly gave profound insight and provided key evidence that was used to reconstruct the crash, which was caused by a heavy truck crossing the center line of a highway. In this heavy truck crash reconstruction case study, Nathan, along with Neal Carter and Tomas Owens, discuss how physical evidence, along with electronic data from the vehicles, was used to reconstruct this crash into a full simulation animation.

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Video Transcription

[Various News Media]

[Nathan Rose]: The client called us shortly after the crash occurred. It’s a case that involved a heavy truck driver who, according to witnesses, was swerving into oncoming traffic in the couple miles preceding this accident. Ultimately, the truck driver, as he went around a right-hand curve, failed to negotiate that curve, went into oncoming traffic and collided with two vehicles, one in a very severe manner.

We were out at the site within a few days of this accident happening and that really helped a lot in our investigation. I mean, you can imagine that being out there a few days after there’s a lot of evidence still in place that we’re able to physically document. We were able to see the vehicles as well in a very short time frame after the crash and to get those documented with 3D laser scanners. So, we’re able to capture that data and preserve it before there’s any modifications to it.

[Neal Carter]: So, event data recorders on vehicles, they were starting to become more and more common. This is the first one in memory where we actually had an event data recorder on each vehicle. So, on the tractor-trailer, on the pickup and on the van. So, that was great from an engineering perspective. We had the tractor-trailer give us about 100 seconds of data before the crash and about 15 seconds after the crash. In the 100 seconds before we were able to see where, for instance, hilltops were because we’d see the speed decrease. So, we were able to correlate that with the driver’s route before the crash and it really confirmed that that speed data was from this crash. The best witnesses in this crash were the event data recorders on the vehicles.

[Tomas Owens]: In a case like this, we utilize photogrammetry to give us an idea of where the locations of these pieces of evidence lie, whether that’s debris, the vehicles’ final resting place; a lot of the key components that are involved with the physics and the motion of the action itself.

[Neal]: We had the restraints of the event recorder data of all the vehicles and we had to make that mesh well with out simulation, mesh well with the physical evidence that was on the roadway, and mesh well with the rest positions of all the vehicles.

[Tomas]: One of the challenges involved with a case like this, when there is such a high amount of debris and impacts, could be cleaning up the images to make it visually acceptable for an animation.

[Nathan]: So we have a number of animations we created in this case where we are animating the accident over the top of a police photograph. So, part of that process is determining the positions from where that photograph was taken and you’ll see that in some of the animations that we play in this case study where it’s over the top of a police photograph.

[Tomas]: When we’re going to use an image, a lot more time and effort has to be spent cleaning up these images to make them visually appealing as well as the conditions that the road was at prior to the accident. Some of the other key factors involved in an animation going beyond impact would be simulating the vehicles to rest. That can be sort of a rocking or rolling motion as the vehicle comes down. Some of that is given to us, in part, by the engineers and through simulation software that gives us a realistic representation of how something this heavy and this big that has been damaged this much would realistically roll across the environment.

[Nathan]: We utilized PC Crash simulation software to generate physics-based motion for the vehicles and that motion goes directly into our animation. So, what we end up with is an animation that is physics based, and that accurately portrays the motion of those vehicles based on the data we have and based on the reconstruction we’ve done. So, the motion you’re watching in these animations in this case study is all physics based and it’s all justified by the physical evidence.

We want to make sure that we build our animations in a way that they are admissible when we get to that point of going to trial. And so, part of that process, part of what lays the foundation for an animation’s admissibility is us being able to show that what we’re depicting is physically realistic and justified by the evidence. And so, that guarantees that when we get to the end of this process we’re going to have a product that a judge is going look at and accept into a trial.

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KFSRT EP 12 – Writing an Accident Reconstruction Report http://kineticorp.com/kfsrt-ep-12-writing-accident-reconstruction-report/ Thu, 04 Jan 2018 23:08:07 +0000 http://kineticorp.com/?p=6871 KFSRT EP 12 – Writing an Accident Reconstruction Report Over the past 20 years, Kineticorp co-founder Nathan A. Rose has refined and developed his skill set and knowledge in the world of accident reconstruction. This includes his methodology of developing accident reconstruction reports. In this episode, Nathan A. Rose discusses… read more →

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KFSRT EP 12 – Writing an Accident Reconstruction Report

Over the past 20 years, Kineticorp co-founder Nathan A. Rose has refined and developed his skill set and knowledge in the world of accident reconstruction. This includes his methodology of developing accident reconstruction reports. In this episode, Nathan A. Rose discusses his approach to developing accident reconstruction reports.

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Nighttime Collision Case Study http://kineticorp.com/nighttime-collision-case-study/ Wed, 03 Jan 2018 21:29:55 +0000 http://kineticorp.com/?p=6863 Senior Engineer Neal Carter and Senior Forensic Animator Jim Marr discuss the visibility techniques and research conducted to help determine a vehicle’s speed that was involved in a nighttime collision. Video Transcription [Neal Carter]: So, this was a case where a box truck had a disablement event, had a mechanical… read more →

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Senior Engineer Neal Carter and Senior Forensic Animator Jim Marr discuss the visibility techniques and research conducted to help determine a vehicle’s speed that was involved in a nighttime collision.

Video Transcription

[Neal Carter]: So, this was a case where a box truck had a disablement event, had a mechanical failure and came to a stop in the fast lane of the highway and was sitting there for a while. Several vehicles that were initially in the fast lane were able to swerve out of the way and avoid impacting the back, but ultimately there was one vehicle that didn’t. So, that vehicle impacted the rear of the truck.

I was asked in this case to determine, first off, the speed of the vehicle as it hit the back of the truck. The speedometer, the back plate had a nice indicator mark that was 82-85 miles per hour, which is not in every case, but in this case was a good indication of the speed. I was also asked to determine how visible the truck would’ve been and to make an exhibit showing the clients and ultimately showing the jury how visible the truck would’ve been.

[Jim Marr]: Well, this specific case, this guy’s in a Jetta driving down the highway at 80 miles per hour and the visibility for this case… He had his hazard lights on. If he didn’t have his lights on it would be a totally different case because I don’t think he would’ve been able to see the truck until just a few hundred feet away, but because he had his lights on there’s plenty of time to react.

[Neal Carter]: We actually bought an Exemplar Jetta. We’re scanning it right now to get the three dimensional profile of it to take three dimensional measurements of that. We’re taking that out to a dark road. We actually use an airport maintenance road so it’s very little lighting.

[Jim Marr]: We took that truck out to Front Range Airport and we got an Exemplar vehicle. We set that up and then we set cones up every 100 feet and then from inside the Exemplar we take photographs at each cone.

[Neal Carter]: And what we’re doing is we’re looking at the back of that truck from inside the Jetta at different distances to determine when the driver could’ve seen the box truck on the roadway based on the headlights of the Jetta.

[Jim Marr]: Ideally, you would want to take a jury out to the scene just so they could see how dark it is and what the vehicle looks like, which is just not an option. So, you have to have your camera calibrated so that people can understand just exactly what the lighting looks like out there.

[Neal Carter]: Our team has a lot of experience and a lot of talent when it comes to visibility analysis. Especially nighttime visibility analysis. This is an area where we are the leaders in our industry. We’re able to take the video of the highway and digitally add information from the truck. So, we can digitally add that in a way that’s accurate and the end result is really seamless.

[Jim Marr]: We’ve written a lot of papers, we’ve come up with a lot of processes and I think Kineticorp definitely has a name in the industry for nighttime visibility.

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Skiing Collision Case Study http://kineticorp.com/skiing-collision-case-study/ Wed, 27 Dec 2017 17:06:14 +0000 http://kineticorp.com/?p=6855 Attorney Jim Gigax and Kineticorp Forensic Animators, Toby Terpstra and Tomas Owens, discuss a case involving a skiing collision, which resulted in injuries to both parties. Topics covered include case details, diving into the evidence, creating the animation and the outcome for the clients. Video Transcription [Jim Gigax]: This young… read more →

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Attorney Jim Gigax and Kineticorp Forensic Animators, Toby Terpstra and Tomas Owens, discuss a case involving a skiing collision, which resulted in injuries to both parties. Topics covered include case details, diving into the evidence, creating the animation and the outcome for the clients.

Video Transcription

[Jim Gigax]: This young man had jumped — had just made a 360 without looking. He was just flying. Wiped out this gentleman, and came up and was just screaming at him and the person who wiped him out had verbally abused him in the presence of his wife. His life had been fundamentally altered to the negative. My client was a 63-year-old dentist, a very successful dentist. This incident broke his neck and he also had his shoulder ruined and you can have your shoulder reconstructed, but it’s never going to be the same.

[Tomas Owens]: Some of the pieces of information that we had from the beginning were injury locations. So, we know that one person was injured in a specific part of their body and we have any idea of where that contact may have happened. In this case, we had one gentleman who had a broken shoulder and the other one had injuries to his ankle. So, again, two puzzle pieces, I know they have to fit together somehow. Most likely, and all the other evidence led to the fact that this was sort of the contact point of what their impact configuration might have been.

So, we have to start with what physical evidence do we have? Do we have any video reference? Do we have photographs from the time of? And pretty often that’s our biggest resource, is the photographs taken at the time of the accident.

[Toby Terpstra]: So one of the things we didn’t know in this case was where exactly he came to rest. Fortunately, we had a couple photographs. Trying to locate where somebody came to rest in the middle of a ski run, there’s not a whole lot of features. Not a whole lot of landmarks in the middle. You’d be lucky to find something to use as a reference and really there’s nothing other than a berm up above and then the trees in the distance in both of these photographs.

[Tomas]: So, in this case, kind of the logical progression we used was starting with videos and photos, and being able to use photogrammetry to match up specifically where certain photos were taken and matching that up against the evidence that we took [ourselves] being the 3D scan data. So, the fact that we were fortunate enough to visit the actual site gives us a perfect one-to-one relationship of the digital world to the actual scene itself.

[Toby]: We actually took a radar gun out there, too, and measured other people as they were coming down the slope just to get a feeling for what the general traffic might be like. So, this guy is following his friends down in a lot of his YouTube videos… You get a feeling for their style of skiing. It’s useful to be able to understand how they’re moving as they do these jumps and so it becomes a great reference.

[Jim]: We got the clients involved, we had a meeting where we could show this animation to my clients who were in Tennessee and it was done to be admissible and it was a good final product we did get into evidence.

[Tomas]: My job as the animator is to create the most realistic and honest representation of how this person would have moved from A to B. So again the foundation gets us these sort of specific, hard coded positions that we need to be in and then it’s my job to determine the flow of the movement.

[Toby]: There’s a road that cuts through there and it creates kind of a natural berm that the skier was using as a jump and that berm, as you’re approaching it, you can’t see over it depending on where you’re at on the slope from, you know, left to right. So, it is a blind area that he took the jump over. And that visibility is occluded because of that berm or that road that’s cutting through there.

[Tomas]: One of the unique challenges that we faced was getting two characters, two bipedal representations to interact with each other and have physics take over. The fun of problem-solving this was getting to hop to another piece of software that I know would be a solution for this, but integrating that into our current workflow.

[Jim]: You let people who understand physics and are conversant with computer programs that incorporate physics and in turn that generates numbers and then the computer software will take these calculations and data points and that’s all run together to make it almost like a real video.

[It’s] very important for the attorney to put in the time to understand what’s going on, even though you have to rely on other people to do the math. You’ve got to understand how these people did their work in order to be able to explain it to a court so that the work product is admissible.

[Toby]: You don’t want to open yourself up to anything that can be criticized. So, we’re using 3D scan data to understand what the slope looks like and what the visibility is as you come over that berm from the roadway and we’re using everybody’s witness testimonies in conjunction with each other to understand how close other parties may have been. As you play through the animation, as you go through that sequence, it is important to understand how fast he was going and how close these other kids were and establishing the conditions at the time of the incident. What he did with his friends going blindly off this jump was dangerous.

[Jim]: Kineticorp was a key, strategic partner for my client and I, and they were a key part of the successful outcome of that case.

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Lean Angle Part 2 Case Study http://kineticorp.com/lean-angle-part-2-case-study/ Wed, 29 Nov 2017 18:13:51 +0000 http://kineticorp.com/?p=6817 Nathan Rose and Neal Carter return from their scene inspection in California where they gathered data to determine the lean angle of a motorcycle on a curve. In part two of this case study they discuss their analysis of the data and what it means for future motorcycle accident reconstruction.… read more →

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Nathan Rose and Neal Carter return from their scene inspection in California where they gathered data to determine the lean angle of a motorcycle on a curve. In part two of this case study they discuss their analysis of the data and what it means for future motorcycle accident reconstruction.

Video Transcription

[Neal Carter]: We got back from Southern California and we have a lot of data to sift through. So, we’re going to look through this data, we’re going to organize it, and we’re going to start analyzing that to objectively quantify how our rider took the turns.

[Nathan Rose]: So, when we were in LA gathering data and we had William do the ride through, we had the motorcycle instrumented, ultimately what that was about was gathering data related to the lean angle that riders would utilize on various curves at various speeds. When a motorcyclist crashes on a curve there are a number of limits that we will look at, because when a rider comes against these limits, that could lead to a crash and it could be something that explains why a particular crash happened.

These are the three limits that we look at when a motorcyclist crashes on a curve. We look at if the crash was caused by the rider exceeding one of these limits. The friction limit would be where the rider is going fast enough around a curve such that they utilize all of the available friction that their motorcycle tires have available and they slide out, lose control due to that. The geometric limit would be, the motorcyclist is going around a curve fast enough that they have to lean to the point that components from the motorcycle come into contact with the ground. There’s actual scraping between the components on the ground that lead to a loss of control. Next limit is the rider’s willingness limit, or psychological limit. This is really an experience issue, rider comfort issue where there are limits on how much a particular rider will lean. So, if a rider goes into a curve and the speed at which they enter that curve requires them to lean to a certain degree, if they’re not willing to go to that lean angle that’s required of them, then they’ll depart the curve. They won’t successfully navigate it.

[Neal Carter]: There’s equations that we can use to determine the lean angle that a motorcycle rider should have when he traverses a turn and that’s based on the CG height of the motorcycle, the tire width of the motorcycle, the speed at which he takes the turn, and the path at which he takes the turn. And, we have a theory on this. We’ve published a paper on this, but what we want to do in this case is we want to look at that through time and see how close the theory comes to our measured data.

[Nathan Rose]: And we compared it to the results that this equation would give us for those curves and we found that this equation does a really good job of telling us what the rider’s lean angle needs to be. It’s an inference based on calculating the lean angle, understanding the studies that are out there about what riders are willing to do, and then looking at that particular rider and their experience level.

We’re publishing the results of that study, it’s currently under peer-review with the Society of Automotive Engineers, but we basically took the data from this case and used it to verify that this equation gives us reasonable results. The case actually ended up settling shortly after we got back and so we never ended up using the data for the case, but actually that works out great for me because now I can use the data for my research purposes. The way we’re going to use it in the future is exactly in relationship to evaluating these three limits and evaluating motorcycle crashes that occurred on a curve and why did they occur. Why did the rider ultimately lose control of their motorcycle and crash as they went around a curve. So, we’ll use it to look at these limits.

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Lean Angle Case Study http://kineticorp.com/lean-angle-case-study/ Tue, 31 Oct 2017 21:22:00 +0000 http://kineticorp.com/?p=6685 Nathan Rose, Neal Carter and William Neale took a trip to California to conduct research for a case where the lean angle of a motorcycle needed to be determined. Take a look at some of the work that they did to determine key aspects to this accident.

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Nathan Rose, Neal Carter and William Neale took a trip to California to conduct research for a case where the lean angle of a motorcycle needed to be determined. Take a look at some of the work that they did to determine key aspects to this accident.

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Heavy Truck v Motorcycle Case Study http://kineticorp.com/heavy-truck-v-motorcycle-case-study/ Mon, 30 Oct 2017 16:37:18 +0000 http://kineticorp.com/?p=6673 Nathan Rose, Neal Carter and Tomas Owens talk about a case study where a heavy truck struck a motorcyclist and the process of gathering evidence, producing animations and analyzing data to help jurors understand what happened in a clear and accurate way. Video Transcription [Nathan]: I approached this case the… read more →

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Nathan Rose, Neal Carter and Tomas Owens talk about a case study where a heavy truck struck a motorcyclist and the process of gathering evidence, producing animations and analyzing data to help jurors understand what happened in a clear and accurate way.

Video Transcription

[Nathan]: I approached this case the same way I approach every case. It always begins with gathering the evidence and that could be physical evidence, could be electronic evidence, could be video evidence, could be testimony and statements. And so, I’m always looking to gather that evidence.

This is a crash that occurred on an interstate highway and it involved a tractor-trailer impacting a motorcyclist on the highway. And essentially what had happened is the tractor-trailer driver came upon a slow moving vehicle that had had a tire disablement. So, the vehicle was limping along in the right lane traveling about 15 miles per hour according to testimony. That truck driver had about a 2,000 foot straightaway, but he didn’t react to that slow moving vehicle until very late and ended up swerving to the left across the center lane and into the left lane where the truck struck a motorcyclist. In this case, the police did do some investigation. They had a basic diagram that outlined the sequence of events. They had some photographs they took that showed tire marks, showed fluid on the road, showed the rest position of the tractor-trailer and the motorcycle. And so, that was the first step; was beginning to gather that.

In this case, questions that I needed to answer were the speed of the tractor-trailer throughout the sequence, the speed of the motorcycle, and then the motion of the tractor-trailer as it traversed from the right lane, across the center lane, and into the left lane and struck the motorcyclist. Then, how did those vehicles move following the collision. Then, also, inherent in that data from the event data recorder was, how did the driver of the tractor-trailer respond to the slow moving vehicle that he was attempting to avoid? When did he brake? And when did he swerve? Most tractor-trailers these days have event data recorders on them. Typically, those are integral to the engine control module and they will record data related to sudden deceleration or hard brake events that those trucks experience. The vehicle experiences a change in speed of, say, for example, in this case it was seven miles per hour in a one second time interval, that’s sufficient to cause the system to record that data. And typically, what will be recorded will be the speed of the vehicle, at least the indicated speed, what it would read on the speedometer. It will be whether the brakes are applied or not. Engine RPM is another thing that often is recorded. Things of that nature. We can take that data and utilize it in our Reconstruction.

PC-Crash is where I’m bringing all that together. I’m bringing together the electronic data with the physical evidence, generating physics-based motion that is in agreement with that electronic data, and in agreement with the physical evidence.

[Neal]: In PC-Crash we have a diagram that shows the rest positions of the vehicles; it shows the physical evidence like the tire marks, scrape marks of the vehicles, and we’re able to simulate that motion of the vehicles coming to rest. So, in here you can see the — once I scrub through you can see the tractor-trailer, the vehicle that he was avoiding, as well as the motorcycle. After we simulated the motion in PC-Crash we then brought it to an animation package called 3D Studio Max. And we used that to make our final animation.

[Tomas]: So, in cases like this in particular, which is going to be a melding of both physical evidence locations as well as a little bit of interpretation as to what the person or character is actually doing in this case, it’s very important for us to work directly with the engineers to get that evidence from PC-Crash. That gives me kind of a point-A and a point-B. I know where a character needs to be physically as well as his relationship to those vehicles. And so, that told me that his body has to be positioned in such a way that he can leave this physical evidence and have it match with all the physical evidence from the vehicles that have already been determined partially by engineers, partially by photogrammetry and analysis of the information that we have. So, at this point I have positions over time, I know where my vehicles need to be to match the entire scene. I can take this information bring it into a 3D software like 3DS Max. And so, that gives me all of the information and positions represented in PC-Crash that I can then use for my analysis for where the character needs to be.

[Nathan]: Based on my analysis, what I found was that the truck driver in this crash could’ve avoided the crash had he begun reacting about a second-and-a-half sooner. He could’ve simply changed lanes into the center lane, which was open, not gone into the left lane and not struck he motorcyclist. Another key finding was that the crash was not avoidable by the motorcyclist. The time available for him to perceive what was going on and take action to avoid it, there simply wasn’t enough time and so it was not avoidable to the motorcyclist. So, when I get to the end of it, I’ve got reconstructed motion in PC-Crash of these vehicles, that’s justified based on physics, based on physical evidence, based on electronic data, and all of the techniques that I’m utilizing have been published, they’re widely used in the industry, they’re peer-reviewed; I can use this reconstruction data then to go on and produce an animation. And that animation is going to be admitted in trial because I can lay out the foundation for each step of the process based on that peer-reviewed literature and based on that research and testing, and based on principles of physics. So in this specific case, this allowed me to go in, testify in a deposition and explain this accident in a very clear way to both sides.

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