Development of an Expert System for Race Car Driver & Chassis Diagnostics 2002-01-1574
Race teams compete at a level where fractions of a second separate the finishers. Consequently, teams devote significant resources to gain a competitive edge. Limitations on track time and high track rental prices dictate efficiency in testing. Thus, proper use of data acquisition and computer aided engineering tools is essential. These tools can be used to quickly analyze test data and serve as the basis for recommendations for changes in chassis setup and driver technique.
This project describes the further development of such a tool that can be used to analyze and diagnose the control inputs of a driver as well as diagnose the overall balance of the chassis (i.e., understeer and oversteer). This tool is an “expert system” (implemented in MATLAB) that provides an understanding of the effects of both chassis setup changes and driver steering, braking, and throttle control inputs on overall lap times. The diagnosis is performed through the quick analysis of data obtained from a data acquisition system and the graphical presentation of all pertinent data signals with indicators placed on areas of the data where problems are detected and improvement may be appropriate.
Towards this goal, a graphical user interface was developed to aid in the ease of use of the expert system. All user interaction is performed through an intuitive point and click interface similar to the Windows® operating system. The end result is a robust, efficient and user-friendly program for racecar driver and chassis diagnosis.
Development tests were conducted with a test driver in an ASA racecar. The track used was the Carolina Motorsports Park that consists of a 14-turn road course 2.235 miles in length.