Effects of Standardisationon Suspension and Steering Kinematics on Diverse Vehicle Architecture 2013-01-2846
Automotive industry is progressively embracing newer technology for buses, as they are increasingly becoming the backbone of urban transportation. Buses are generally classified based on floor heights, lengths, seating capacity and applications besides lot of other parameters. Generally low floor / low entry buses are used for city transportation, while high floor / high deck buses are used for inter urban and intercity transportation. Yet in a few developing and underdeveloped geographies across the globe, high deck or the semi low floor buses are still used for city/urban transportation. There could be a lot of reasons like infrastructure limitations, the cost of ownership or in some cases even the topology of these geographies could be unfriendly towards low floor buses and low ground clearances.
Varying customer requirements, applications and environmental factors necessitates a broad range of offerings from any bus OEM. From the OEM's perspective, increased variety poses technical capability challenges and delays new product configurations. In general while designing any system, subsystem or component for a wide vehicle, the term ‘standardization’ comes into picture as it has its own advantages like lesser cost per large volumes, part count reduction, service ease etc. On the flip side, there could be compromises on performance. Hence, the influence of different parameter on vehicle performance should be known prior to standardization.
A vehicle's ride and handling performance is primarily influenced by suspension and steering system hard points. These parameters / hard points are even more critical for passenger vehicles. The study discussed in this paper is being carried out to analyze the effect of standardization on suspension and steering system kinematic behavior when these systems are designed to suit different vehicle architectures (low floor to high floor).