Investigation of a Roll Control System for an Off-road Vehicle 2000-01-1646
The current popularity of the Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) market has led to new developments aiming to increase product performance. Such vehicles pose a significant challenge as they must perform to a high standard over a large variety of road conditions. Previously, emphasis has been placed on off-road ability. However, SUVs are now seen as an alternative to conventional luxury cars, and hence are expected to perform similarly, but without significantly degrading off-road performance. The introduction of a roll control system can achieve body roll levels lower than a conventional sports saloon, whilst improving off-road ability by removing the compromises associated with conventional anti-roll bars. This paper investigates the characteristics of such a system by developing a computer simulation of the vehicle and the associated roll control scheme. The response of the roll-controlled vehicle to various steering inputs is then compared with an identical vehicle which uses conventional anti-roll bars. Possible improvements to the control system and roll control hardware are investigated, including the advantages offered by roll moment distribution control.