Hydroplaning Basic Research and Analysis

Experimental Tire to Road Interface

Various Locations

Background: An experimental program was initiated to examine the phenomenon of tire hydroplaning. A number of such accidents have been analyzed by MARS, and a considerable amount of theoretical work has also been performed.

What We Did: To perform the experimental analysis, a video camera was encased in a commercially available, camera-specific Plexiglas box. A fixture was machined using the MARS shop facilities, allowing mounting of the camera and waterproof box to a vehicle. The camera was aimed to portray and film the flow path adjacent to the front or rear tire of a vehicle, creating a visualization of the path clearing at the tire/road interface. As a result of this work, MARS has become a world leader in hydroplaning accident analyses.

Relevant Scientific Publications:

  • Metz, L. D., “Potential for Hydroplaning during Transient Maneuvers,” SAE Paper No. 2012-01-0211 (2012). N.B. This paper was awarded the 2012 SAE Excellence in Oral Presentation Award by the Society of Automotive Engineers.
  • Metz, L. D., “Calculating Tire Overlap during Steady-State Cornering Maneuvers,” SAE Paper No. 2012-01-0242 (2012).
  • Metz, L. D. & Meyers, D. R., “Estimating Path Clearing Effects during Potential Hydroplaning through the Use of Vehicle CAN Bus Data,” invited paper, SAE Paper No. 2013-01-0408 [also in SAE, Int. J. Passenger. Cars, Mech. Syst., 6:1] (2013).
  • Metz, L. D., “Simulation of Transient Maneuver Hydroplaning Events Using HVE,” SAE Paper No. 2014-01-0122 (2014).

Camera and waterproof box attached to an adjustable fixture.

Camera in position.

Camera in position.

When you don’t know, it is best to say, “I don’t know”.

Dan Metz, Consulting Engineer