A Mainstream Test Methodology for Developing a Vehicle Equipped with an Electronic Stability Control System 2014-01-0130
There have been many articles published in the last decade or so concerning the components of an electronic stability control (ESC) system, as well as numerous statistical studies that attempt to predict the effectiveness of such systems relative to crash involvement. The literature however is free from papers that discuss how engineers might develop such systems in order to achieve desired steering, handling, and stability performance. This task is complicated by the fact that stability control systems are very complex and their designs and what they can do have changed considerably over the years. These systems also differ from manufacturer to manufacturer and from vehicle to vehicle in a given maker of automobiles. In terms of ESC hardware, differences can include all the components as well as the addition or absence of roll rate sensors or active steering gears to name a few.
Like in the development of passive suspensions and steering systems, a development engineer must take into account the mission of a vehicle. There is no need to tune an ESC system on a two door sports car for off road driving or trailer towing but work may be focused on maximum cornering characteristics whereas a commercial four wheel drive pickup truck will require tuning that accounts for its anticipated load-carrying duty cycle. This paper puts forth a methodology that a vehicle dynamics development engineer might consider when tasked with developing and/or evaluating the stability-control-related steering, handling, and stability characteristics of a given vehicle.