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Journal Article

Yaw Stability Enhancement of Articulated Commercial Vehicles via Gain-Scheduling Optimal Control Approach

In this paper, a gain-scheduling optimal control approach is proposed to enhance yaw stability of articulated commercial vehicles through active braking of the proper wheel(s). For this purpose, an optimal feedback control is used to design a family of yaw moment controllers considering a broad range of vehicle velocities. The yaw moment controller is designed such that the instantaneous tractor yaw rate and articulation angle responses are forced to track the target values at each specific vehicle velocity. A gain scheduling mechanism is subsequently constructed via interpolations among the controllers. Furthermore, yaw moments derived from the proposed controller are realized by braking torque distribution among the appropriate wheels. The effectiveness of the proposed yaw stability control scheme is evaluated through software-in-the-loop (SIL) co-simulations involving Matlab/Simulink and TruckSim under lane change maneuvers.
Journal Article

Relative Performance Analyses of Independent Front Axle Suspensions for a Heavy-Duty Mining Truck

A range of axle suspensions, comprising hydro-pneumatic struts and diverse linkage configurations, have evolved in recent years for large size mining trucks to achieve improved ride and higher operating speeds. This paper presents a comprehensive analysis of different independent front suspension linkages that have been implemented in various off-road vehicles, including a composite linkage (CL), a candle (CA), a trailing arm (TA), and a double Wishbone (DW) suspension applied to a 190 tons mining truck. Four different suspension linkages are modeled in MapleSim platform to evaluate their kinematic properties. The relative kinematic properties of the suspensions are evaluated in terms of variations in the kingpin inclination, caster, camber, toe-in and horizontal wheel center displacements considering the motion of a hydro-pneumatic strut. The results revealed the CL and DW suspensions yield superior kinematic response characteristics compared to the CA and TA suspensions.
Journal Article

Effect of Terrain Roughness on the Roll and Yaw Directional Stability of an Articulated Frame Steer Vehicle

Compared to the vehicles with conventional steering, the articulated frame steer vehicles (ASV) are known to exhibit lower directional and roll stability limits. Furthermore, the tire interactions with relatively rough terrains could adversely affect the directional and roll stability limits of an ASV due to terrain-induced variations in the vertical and lateral tire forces. It may thus be desirable to assess the dynamic safety of ASVs in terms of their directional control and stability limits while operating on different terrains. The effects of terrain roughness on the directional stability limits of an ASV are investigated through simulations of a comprehensive three-dimensional model of the vehicle with and without a rear axle suspension. The model incorporates a torsio-elastic rear axle suspension, a kineto-dynamic model of the frame steering struts and equivalent random profiles of different undeformable terrains together with coherence between the two tracks profiles.
Journal Article

Characterization of Driver Steering Control of Articulated Freight Vehicles Based on a Two-Stage Preview Strategy

A two-stage preview strategy is proposed to characterize steering control properties of commercial vehicle drivers. The strategy includes a near and a far preview points to describe the driver control of lateral path deviation and vehicle orientation. A human driver model comprising path error compensation and dynamic motions of the limb is subsequently formulated and integrated to a yaw-plane model of an articulated vehicle. The coupled driver-vehicle model is analyzed under an evasive steering maneuver to identify limiting values of the driver control parameters through minimization of a generalized performance index comprising driver's steering effort, path deviations and selected vehicle states. The performance index is further analyzed to identify relative contributions of different sensory feedbacks, which may provide important guidance for designs of driver-assist systems (DAS).
Journal Article

Experimental and Analytical Evaluations of a Torsio-Elastic Suspension for Off-Road Vehicles

The ride performance potentials of a prototype torsio-elastic axle suspension for an off-road vehicle were investigated analytically and experimentally. A forestry vehicle was fitted with the prototype suspension at its rear axle to assess its ride performance benefits. Field measurements of ride vibration along the vertical, lateral, fore-aft, roll and pitch axes were performed for the suspended and an unsuspended vehicle, while traversing a forestry terrain. The measured vibration responses of both vehicles were evaluated in terms of unweighted and frequency-weighted rms accelerations and the acceleration spectra, and compared to assess the potential performance benefits of the proposed suspension. The results revealed that the proposed suspension could yield significant reductions in the vibration magnitudes transmitted to the operator's station.
Journal Article

Handling and Braking Analyses of a Heavy Vehicle with a Cross-Axle Fluidically-Coupled Suspension

The handling and braking responses of a heavy vehicle equipped with a cross-axle fluidically-coupled hydro-pneumatic suspension concept are investigated. The proposed fluidically-coupled suspension is conceived by diagonally interconnecting different hydraulic fluid chambers of the four suspension struts of the vehicle. The analytical formulations of suspension forces are derived based on fluid flows through the couplings and damping valves. A generalized full-vehicle model is developed and validated to evaluate the handling and braking responses to two critical vehicle maneuvers: (i) braking-in-a-turn; and (ii) split-μ straight-line braking. The responses of the vehicle model with the coupled suspension are compared with those of the uncoupled suspension under various inputs to demonstrate the potential benefits of the proposed cross-axle fluidic coupling of the suspension struts.
Technical Paper

Pitch Attitude Control and Braking Performance Analysis of Heavy Vehicle with Interconnected Suspensions

This study investigates the performance potentials of hydro-pneumatic suspensions interconnected in the pitch plane of a heavy vehicle. Different configurations of interconnected suspensions comprising pneumatic, hydraulic or hybrid fluidic couplings between the front-and rear-suspension struts are proposed and analyzed. A 7-DOF pitch plane vehicle model is formulated to explore the relative vertical and pitch properties of different suspension configurations, as well as the dynamic responses of the vehicle under braking and road inputs. The mathematical formulations of strut forces due to both the unconnected and pitch-connected suspensions are derived. Relative performance potentials of different configurations are evaluated in terms of sprung mass pitch angle, suspension travel and stopping distance characteristics under different braking inputs and road conditions. The vertical ride quality is further assessed under a range of road roughness excitations and vehicle speeds.
Technical Paper

Optimal Damping Design of Heavy Vehicle with Interconnected Hydro-Pneumatic Suspension

The optimal damping design of roll plane interconnected hydro-pneumatic suspension is investigated, in order to improve vertical ride and road-friendliness of heavy vehicles, while maintaining enhanced roll stability. A nonlinear roll plane vehicle model is developed to study vertical as well as roll dynamics of heavy vehicles. The damping valves and gas chamber are integrated within the same suspension strut unit to realize compact design. The influence of variations in damping valve threshold velocity on relative roll stability is explored, under centrifugal acceleration excitations arising from steady turning and lane change maneuvers, as well as crosswind. The effects of damping valve design parameters on the vertical ride vibration and vehicle-road interaction characteristics are also investigated under a medium rough road input and two different vehicle speeds.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Roll Properties of Hydraulically and Pneumatically Interconnected Suspensions for Heavy Vehicles

Two different concepts in hydro-pneumatic suspension struts are formulated to conveniently realize either hydraulic or pneumatic interconnections between the struts within different wheel suspensions. The formulation employs a compact strut design that integrates a gas chamber and damping valves within the same unit, and provides considerably enhanced working area to appreciably reduce the operating pressure. A transverse interconnection between the hydro-pneumatic struts in the roll plane is analyzed to investigate its static and dynamic heave and roll properties, and relative potential benefits in enhancing the roll properties, while retaining the soft heave ride. Different hydraulically and pneumatically interconnected strut configurations are analyzed for a heavy vehicle, with appropriate considerations of the fluid compressibility, while the feedback effects associated with the interconnections are emphasized.
Technical Paper

Field Testing of a Tank Truck and Study of Fluid Slosh

Dynamic fluid slosh and its influence on the dynamic roll stability of a partially filled tank truck has been investigated through a field test program undertaken jointly by the CONCAVE Research Centre and Transportation Technology and Energy Branch of Ontario Ministry of Transportation. The paper describes the test methodology, instrumentation, data acquisition, fluid slosh behaviour, and its influence on the directional response of the tank truck. The data acquired during different directional maneuvers is analyzed to highlight the fluid slosh and its impact on the dynamic load transfer and roll stability of the vehicle. The magnitude of dynamic load transfer, derived from the video records of the dynamic fluid movement, is presented and discussed for various tank fill levels and directional maneuvers. The test results revealed that the magnitude of dynamic fluid slosh is strongly related to the vehicle speed, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, and the fill level.