Date of Graduation

Spring 2016

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Major

Mechanical Engineering - Cooperative Education

Research Sponsor

Dr. Scott Sawyer

First Reader

Dr. Dan Deckler

Second Reader

Dr. Guo-Xiang Wang

Abstract

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Safety Vehicle Research, 29% of all vehicle accidents are rear end collisions. Many are a result of failure to respond to a slowing or stopped vehicle. [1] The purposed LED rear lighting system will incorporate attention getting techniques to increase vehicle visibility to other drivers. Due to the small size and stature of the 2015 human powered vehicle called Joey, it will be out of the ordinary when traveling on roadways. “Three in four (72%) bicyclists who rode after dark said they tried to do something to make themselves more visible.” [2] When this vehicle is out on the road after dark, a strong notification system is essential. With this attention getting system, the probability of vehicle collisions can be reduced. The use of tail lights on bicycle is a very common occurrence. Most states require a minimum of a red reflector on the rear of the bicycle. Many bicycles are now outfitted with aftermarket lighting systems. The use of a sequential tail lighting notification system is an advanced method. More than a flashing light, the system design uses safety statistics to determine optimum attention getting flashing frequencies and patterns. [1] It is the inconsistent pattern is what alerts approaching vehicles. The phenomenon of losing touch or becoming detached while driving is call psychological disassociation. The approaching driver could be in this state of daydreaming and only alterations to the environment can break the disassociation. Vehicle taillights are the main defense to this syndrome, but they do not work for vehicles that are moving slowly but not breaking in front of a rapidly approaching vehicle. The principle of the smart light system is to generate this alteration and break the trance of the disassociation.

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