Vehicle Handling Sensitivity Analysis through Numerical Simulation in Commercial Vehicles 2015-01-2736
Vehicle handling is an important attribute that is directly related to vehicle safety. The rapid development of road infrastructure has resulted in a greater focus on safety and stability. Commercial vehicle stability and safety assumes higher significance because of high center of gravity (CG) and heavier loads. A gamut of parameters influence vehicle handling directly and indirectly. However, it is quite difficult to gauge through physical testing, the extent of each parameter's influence on handling. Therefore, this paper examines vehicle handling by way of a sensitivity analysis through numerical simulation. A prototype vehicle is also instrumented and tested to confirm trends and validate the results of the simulation.
An Intermediate Commercial Vehicle (ICV) with Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of around 13 tonnes is modeled and parameters like wheelbase and tyre stiffness are altered and the effect of these changes on handling parameters (yaw rate, lateral acceleration) is observed. A lane change handling maneuver is simulated and the results are plotted to show the variation obtained in the handling parameters. A prototype ICV is instrumented with accelerometers, gyroscopes, and steering torque sensors. A double lane change maneuver is done on the vehicle and parameters like lateral acceleration and yaw rate are measured. The simulation and physical test results are then compared and correlated.
The results show clear trends with respect to tyre pressure (response is better with higher pressure), wheelbase, and load distribution. The inferences and trends are used as design inputs for future programs. Effect of parameters like caster, camber, and tyre properties on handling will be simulated in the next phase of this research work in the future with a complete steering system model, with focus on vehicle safety.