Title: A failure rate analysis of complex vehicles

Authors: Joseph M. Yutko, Kshitij Jerath, Sean N. Brennan

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, 318 Leonhard Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, 318 Leonhard Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, 318 Leonhard Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA

Abstract: When engineered items fail, there are often indicators of decay long before the system collapses. This research explores this concept applied to complex vehicles operated in public transportation, and the results can be extrapolated to any vehicle system. Transit bus reliability data gathered from eight transit agencies distributed across the USA are analysed at a vehicle and subsystem level to identify system failures. The theory of reliability of repairable systems is applied to the in-transit data to determine if major subsystem component failures can be detected by increases in cumulative and subsystem failure rates. Results indicate that major repairs might be detected far in advance of when they are needed.

Keywords: complex vehicle reliability; failure rates; bathtub curve; repairable systems; bus testing; public transport; transit buses; USA; United States; system failures; component failures; failure prediction.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHVS.2010.029624

International Journal of Heavy Vehicle Systems, 2010 Vol.17 No.1, pp.76 - 98

Available online: 30 Nov 2009 *

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