(ABSTRACT) Dependability, economy, durability, speed, safety, appearance and riding comfort, are the factors considered by Dr. Moss in his resume of progress made in automobile development. Passing then to the problem of the effect of automobile riding on the health of passengers and drivers, he discusses air conditioning, eye strain and body posture while riding. Carbon monoxide probably is the most important of the extraneous harmful substances in relation to air conditioning and an inexpensive investigation, using a carbon-monoxide indicator, is recommended to secure its elimination. Other harmful factors are temperature, relative humidity and motion of the air. A novel suggestion is made that rats be used experimentally in studying the effects of drafts on passengers. Studies to lessen eye strain and improve body posture are also desirable.
CONSTRUCTIVE criticism of automobile bodies as now built is given herein, based on experience gained in driving five-passenger sedan cars of many makes a total distance of nearly 10,000,000 miles in one year in tests at the General Motors Proving Ground. The fault finding, although humorously exaggerated, will be valuable if taken seriously, as it gives to all body designers and builders the benefit of testing experience that few companies are in a position to gain at first hand. The author treats his subject from the viewpoint of the abstract customer; that is, the automobile-purchasing public as a whole and as represened by the imaginary average man, who is assumed to have average stature and body structure and to drive all the different makes of car. Thus he is assumed to change from one to another make frequently, instead of becoming used to only one or two cars.
Abstract MENTIONING the various attempts that have been made to secure continuous progressive changes of gear in the automobile, the author states that nothing of this sort is of value unless it is automatic. He has designed a transmission consisting of a wabble-plate which actuates six connecting-rods that operate as many roller clutches on the rear axle. Changes in speed result from varying the inclination of the wabble-plate, and this is controlled automatically through the combined effects of inertia and the reaction of resistance. This transmission has been applied to a number of cars of different weights, some of which have seen much service. The action of the various elements of the transmission is analyzed with the aid of drawings, diagrams and formulas, and the proportions that have been found most successful are stated. This transmission is combined with a gearless differential and a planetary reverse-gear.
Although many variables enter into the personal equation of the driver of an automobile, this paper concerns principally his reaction-time. The tests described had for their objects the determining of (a) the average time that elapses between the hearing of a signal, such, for example, as the shot of a pistol, and the applying of the brake; (b) the relation between the reaction-time and the variability of the individual; and (c) the effect on reaction-time of such factors as the speed of driving, training, age, sex, race, and general intelligence. The reaction-time was determined by two pistols mounted on the under-side of the running-board of an automobile and pointed toward the ground, the first being fired by the experimenter when the car had reached the desired speed, the second, by the person under test in making the initial motion of operating the brake-pedal.
The author believes that an incompatibility exists between the results achieved in this country by the growth of the automobile industry and the almost complete lack of rational data on the most essential elements of kinetics relating to the modern automobile. He submits considerations that can be used in establishing a rational theory of spring suspension in general. A few words are devoted to the first principles of dynamics of springs, to damping, kinematic features of harmonic motion, energy consumption and shock absorbers. An introductory problem, involving an imaginary one-wheel “elemental car”, meant for purely inductive purposes, is then analyzed. Finally the main problem is presented in the form of an analysis of a skeleton-car, spring-suspended and simplified as much as possible.