Independent Control of All-Wheel-Drive Torque Distribution 2004-01-2052
The sophistication of all-wheel-drive technology is approaching the point where the drive torque to each wheel can be independently controlled. This potentially offers vehicle handling enhancements similar to those provided by Dynamic Stability Control, but without the inevitable reduction in vehicle acceleration. Independent control of all-wheel-drive torque distribution would therefore be especially beneficial under acceleration close to the limit of stability.
A vehicle model of a typical sports sedan was developed in Simulink, with fully independent control of torque distribution. Box-Behnken experimental design was employed to determine which torque distribution parameters have the greatest impact on the vehicle course and acceleration. A proportional-integral control strategy was implemented, applying yaw rate feedback to vary the front-rear torque distribution, and lateral acceleration feedback to adjust the left-right distribution.
The resulting system shows a significant improvement over conventional driveline configurations under aggressive cornering acceleration on a high- μ surface. The performance approaches the theoretical limit for these conditions. In the medium term such a system is only likely to be economically viable for premium vehicles. However, a future revolution of powertrain technology towards, for example, wheel-mounted motors, could realize these handling benefits far more widely.