Using Vehicle Dynamics Simulation as a Teaching Tool in Automotive Engineering Courses
Some of the best teaching methods are laboratory courses in which students experience application of the principles being presented. Preparing young engineering students for a career in the automotive industry challenges us to provide comparable opportunities to explore the dynamic performance of motor vehicles in a controlled environment. Today we are fortunate to have accurate and easy-to-use software programs making it practical for students to simulate the performance of motor vehicles on “virtual” proving grounds. At the University of Michigan the CarSim® vehicle dynamics simulation program has been introduced as such a tool to augment the learning experience. The software is used in the Automotive Engineering course to supplement homework exercises analyzing acceleration, braking, aerodynamics, and cornering performance. This paper provides an overview of the use of simulation in this setting.