This paper explores the effects of changes in vehicle loading on vehicle inertial properties (center-of-gravity location and moments of inertia values) and handling responses. The motivation for the work is to gain better understanding of the importance vehicle loading has in regard to vehicle safety.
A computer simulation is used to predict the understeer changes for three different vehicles under three loading conditions. An extension of this loading study includes the effects of moving occupants, which are modeled for inclusion in the simulation. A two-mass model for occupants/cargo, with lateral translational and rotational degrees of freedom, has been developed and is included in the full vehicle model. Using the simulation, the effects that moving occupants have on vehicle dynamics are studied.