Vehicle Dynamics: A New Way of Understanding and Optimizing Vehicle Performance 2013-36-0335
Evaluation of vehicle performance is one of the most important phases of the new vehicle development. Start Ability and Top Speed are factors that are noticed by users, therefore are very important to the final product. Vehicle performance evaluation has been largely benefited from the use of simulation tools. In fact, MAN Latin America (ML) employs simulation programs to evaluate the performance of its vehicles (trucks and buses) achieving good results. However, those programs are normally “closed codes” which makes difficult the physical comprehension of results. Altogether, this article presents Vehicle Dynamics, a macro developed by ML engineering team. The aim of this macro is the automatic calculation of Start Ability, Grade Ability, Top Speed, among other performance parameters. In order to make Vehicle Dynamics faster and more elegant the macro's interface was created in commercial graphical language since it allows the use of tools like “Add”, “Replace” and “Select”, among others. Those options allow it to be faster and help adding data as well as registering several gear boxes, rear axle ratios and tires that are used by ML. Hence, Vehicle Dynamics enables immediate and reliable evaluation of new products and as a consequence, the choice of the best powertrain configuration. Furthermore, Vehicle Dynamics was also designed in order to be easy and didactic for users who want to have a deeper understanding of vehicle behavior.