Using Computer Simulation to Evaluate and Improve Vehicle Handling 780009

As evidenced by extensive research work done under contract to the government recently, it is clear that there is a strong federal interest in the limit handling performance of automobiles. Should these efforts come to fruition, manufacturers may be faced with the difficult task of designing vehicles to meet independent and, at times, conflicting handling requirements. Not only must vehicles continue to meet with subjective approval of handling behavior by customers, but they may also be required to meet objective limit performance criteria.
Problems arise in that vehicles designed to achieve high levels of limit performance are not guaranteed to be more controllable or subjectively acceptable to customers. This paper shows ways design changes may cause conflicting influences on several measures of performance.
The process of development necessary to arrive at vehicles which meet several requirements may be an expensive and time-consuming trial-and-error process unless correct vehicle parameters can be specified at the initial stages of design. This paper illustrates how a computer model, which can predict with accuracy the objective performance of vehicles in the limit handling tests, can, at the same time, give estimates of the subjective ratings these vehicles will receive. Through application of this program it is now possible to experiment with the multitude of design parameters influencing vehicle handling behavior and predict the effects on both subjective and objective performance.


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