Customer Perception of Road Induced Structural Feel 2020-01-1080
A vehicle program’s timing and viability can be affected by subjective assessments made by engineering teams predicting customer perceptions of many different attributes. In this paper we explore the relationship of those assessments to match customer perceptions for the attribute of structural feel. The eventual goal of work like this is to develop an objective metric that could be used by the product development organization. The first step in developing a metric is to assess whether road induced structural feel can be sensed by the customer. An internal drive clinic was an effective approach for obtaining customer perception of structural feel. Vehicles which spanned excellent structural feel to poor structural feel were chosen as part of the experimental design. The participants, which comprised three groups (panelists, experts, and executives) were able to rank order the vehicles’ structural feel performance essentially the same and in the order determined a priori. This clinic study indicates that structural feel is strongly related to vehicle ride. Experts are good predictors of both panelists and executive responses. Results from objective data model fitting indicates that the question “vehicle feels solidly built” is strongly related to the vehicle ride. The result leads to the idea that follow on work will require both structural and suspension dynamics considerations simultaneously.
Mark Stebbins, John Cafeo, Mark Beltramo