In recent years, the increased use of electric power steering in vehicles has increased the importance of issues such as making systems more compact and lightweight, and dealing with increased development man-hours. To increase development efficiency, the use of a “Hardware in the loop simulator” (HILS) is being tested to shift from the previous development method that relied on a driver's subjective evaluation in an actual vehicle test to bench-test development. Using HILS enables tasks such as specification studies, performance forecasts, issue identification and countermeasure proposals to be performed at an early stage of development even when there is no prototype vehicle. This report describes a case study of using HILS to solve the issues of reducing the load by adjusting the geometric specifications around the kingpin and eliminating the tradeoff by adding a new EPS control algorithm in order to make the electric power steering (EPS) more compact and lightweight.
A battery module structure and a battery management system that is optimal for the structure were developed, in order to facilitate the work of equipping hybrid cars with lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) that are expected to improve vehicle performance. This paper describes the structure of the LIB and the battery management system that is optimal for it. The battery module structure has cells with a sturdy holding structure and a highly efficient cooling system. The structure has enabled the improvement of battery pack system power output by 80% per unit weight and by 20% per unit volume compared to the previous model. The optimal management system prevents battery overcharge by detecting and controlling the state of charge (SOC) of each cell with a high degree of accuracy.
Looking back on steering systems in more than a hundred years that have passed since the introduction of the automobile, it can be seen that original method of controlling cars pulled by animals such as horses was by reins, and early automobiles had a single push-pull bar (tiller steering). That became the steering wheel, and an indirect steering mechanism by rotating up and down caught on. While the steering wheel is the main type of steering system in use today, the team have developed the Twin Lever Steering (TLS) system controlled mainly by bi-articular muscles, making use of advancements in science and technology and bioengineering to develop based on bioengineering considerations as shown in Fig. 1. The objective of that is to establish the ultimate steering operation system for drivers. In the first report, the authors reported on results found by using race-car prototypes as shown in Fig. 2.
Size reduction is a significant requirement for hybrid vehicle motors. To meet this requirement, a small new-structure transverse flux (T.F.) motor has been developed, with efforts focused on coil end elimination and a higher motor torque density. The new structure is characterized by a stator core with a three-dimensional flux path configuration. A prototype motor was also designed and produced using ring coils and stator cores made of soft magnetic composites (SMC). The prototype performance was tested to verify the validity of the new magnetic circuit configuration.
A method was designed to predict the gasket surface pressure in consideration of creep which occurs on the surface of the gasket side of the cylinder head in air-cooled engines. Creep caused by heat can cause major deformation on the gasket side of the cylinder head in air-cooled engines, which may result in combustion gas leaking from between the cylinder and cylinder head. Until now, there have been no reports of methods to accurately predict phenomena relating to this deformation in the initial stage of engine design. This study combined values of strain and temperature occurring on the gasket side of the cylinder head, obtained through FEM analysis of steady heat transfer and thermal stress, with unit test results showing the domains in which the influence of the creep is critical or not. This information was used to design a method to determine whether or not an engine's specifications fell into a domain in which creep would have an effect, and predict surface pressure.
Predicting fuel consumption and performance of an outboard motor for a high speed small planing boat are numerically challenging. The propeller is one of the most popular propulsion systems used for outboard motors. We focused our attention on the fact that the thrust performance of a propeller has a major impact on cruising fuel consumption and performance. We believe that we can numerically predict cruising fuel consumption, which has conventionally been estimated through experiential means, using accurate thrust performance measurements via CFD simulation without cavitations model. This study aims to develop a simulator that could quantitatively predict cruising fuel consumption and performance of an outboard motor used for a high speed small planing boat. After comparing the CFD simulation of propellers against the results of model tests, the simulated results are in good agreement with the experimental results.
Most types of paint materials currently used for motorcycles contain large amounts of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). VOCs are environmental load substances, and there is a demand to reduce emissions in recent years. Many of a motorcycle's exterior parts are made of ABS (Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene) plastics (henceforth ABS) or PA (Polyamid) plastics (henceforth PA). These two plastic materials have different film adhesion mechanisms and adhesion strength. Therefore it was necessary to use different conductive primers and that's was one of the factors which made time and material losses in the painting processes. We solved those two issues, the reduction of VOCs and the common use of the same conductive primer for different parts materials, by combining two kinds of resins originally designed as the conductive primers, i.e., urethane resins with carboxylic acid groups and acrylic resins with amide groups, which are different in properties.
As the electric vehicle (EV) market expands and we enter the period of fully fledged diffusion of the vehicles, evaluation of battery performance when secondhand vehicles are sold and when batteries are put to alternative uses will become increasingly important. However, the accurate measurement of battery performance for the purpose of battery evaluation represents a challenge when the batteries are fitted in a battery pack consisting of multiple cells. The authors therefore formulated a degradation estimation model for the evaluation of battery performance based on battery usage history. To formulate the model, parameters expressing the internal state of the battery are estimated from the battery's usage history; battery capacity is estimated with consideration of these parameters.
Honda has been proposing and developing a Transverse Flux Motor (T.F. motor) in order to shorten axial length of the motor for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). In contrast to conventional motors that are composed of a stator core (made from magnetic steel sheet) and winding wires, the T.F. motor is a new type of three-dimensional magnetic circuit motor composed of a soft magnetic composites (SMC) core and a coil. While reducing axial length and achieving a simple stator architecture comprised of just five parts, the new motor raises issues including the need to improve motor efficiency and the development of techniques for the manufacture of rectangular wave-shaped coils. To improve motor efficiency, we conducted a parameter study of the SMC core material and manufacturing conditions to establish the optimum required specifications for reducing iron loss.
A highly efficient two-motor plug-in hybrid system is developed to satisfy the global demands of CO2 reduction. This system switches three operation modes, what is called “EV Drive”, “Hybrid Drive” and “Engine Drive”, to maximize fuel efficiency according to the driving condition of the vehicle. Practical plug-in EV (Electric Vehicle) capability is also realized by adding a high-power on-board charger and a high capacity Li-ion battery to the original system. The outlines of the system components including a newly developed Atkinson cycle engine, a highly efficient electric coupled CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) with built-in motor and generator, an integrated PCU (Power Control Unit) and an exclusive battery for plug-in HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle) are described in this paper. In addition to the switching of three driving modes and the efficiency improvement of each device, cooperative control of the hybrid system is introduced.
An electric servo brake system applied for use on electric vehicles was applied for use on plug-in hybrid vehicles in order to achieve fuel-savings together with good brake feel and enhanced operability for plug-in hybrid vehicles. The electric servo brake system is made up of highly accurate braking pressure control that functions cooperatively with regenerative brakes together with a structure in which pedal force is not influenced by braking pressure control. The configuration of these components enabled good braking feel even when the power train was being switched from one drive mode to another. Automated pressurization functions that are intended for plug-in hybrid vehicles and that operate with electric servo brake systems were also developed. These developed functions include stall cooperative control that functions cooperatively with the power train, regenerative coordinate adaptive cruise control, and hill-start assist.
The change in the aerodynamic lift force (henceforth CL) by heave motion is discussed in this paper in order to clarify the effect of aerodynamic characteristics on the vehicle dynamic performance. We considered that phenomenon in actual car running at 160km/h and 1Hz heave frequency. Using a towing tank to change its water from the air to the working fluid to more easily observe this phenomenon. That makes possible to observe the same phenomenon with reduced velocity and small models under same Strouhal number condition. This method can be reducing vehicle speed to 3m/s (1/15 actual) and frequency to 0.2Hz (1/5 actual) in case using 40% scaled model. The results of these tests showed that unsteady CL is proportional to heave motion. These results showed the proportional relationship between unsteady CL and heave motion. The formularization of unsteady CL made it possible to introduce shape coefficients to vehicle dynamics simulations as functions of heave velocity.
An air-dam spoiler is commonly used to reduce aerodynamic drag in production vehicles. However, it inexplicably tends to show different performances between wind tunnel and coast-down tests. Neither the reason nor the mechanism has been clarified. We previously reported that an air-dam spoiler contributed to a change in the wake structure behind a vehicle. In this study, to clarify the mechanism, we investigated the coefficient of aerodynamic drag CD reduction effect, wake structure, and underflow under different boundary layer conditions by conducting wind tunnel tests with a rolling road system and constant speed on-road tests. We found that the air-dam spoiler changed the wake structure by deceleration of the underflow under stationary floor conditions. Accordingly, the base pressure was recovered by approximately 30% and, the CD value reduction effect was approximately 10%.
A multi-body dynamics model that considers elastic deformation of the body was formulated in order to predict transient body deformation, a factor that affects handling. A comparative analysis with body deformation during handling maneuvers identified using a modal forced response method was conducted, and a good correlation was obtained between vehicle dynamic performance, transient body deformation, and the body modal contribution factor.
Super-sport motorcycles have shorter wheelbases than other category motorcycles. Due to this, strong braking occasionally causes large pitching motions to occur, including rear-wheel-lift. In order to reduce such pitching motions and achieve an effective braking force, the authors have developed a brake-by-wire system that uses a pressure sensor to detect the braking input pressure and an electric actuator to variably control the hydraulic pressure. This system makes it possible to precisely control the braking force compared with the previous ABS. Large pitching control was performed by the distribution of a front wheel and a rear-wheel braking forces, CBS (Combined Brake System), by using electronic control, and Brake-by-Wire has been suitable for sport riding. As a result, stable braking performance could be obtained without spoiling the handling characteristics of super-sport motorcycles.
This paper explains the new methodology for post-crash fuel leakage testing of Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCVs) and other hydrogen vehicles utilizing compressed hydrogen storage systems. This methodology was incorporated into SAE J2578 that was revised and published in January, 2009. The new methodology is based on the concept in FMVSS 303 that specifies post-crash fuel leakage test method and criteria for CNG vehicle and adopted some modifications. Specifically, the following items are addressed: (1) Allowable leakage can be accurately evaluated in test even with large size tank that obtains only small pressure drop when a given amount of leakage occurs. A new method to deal with the influence of measurement errors was devised. (2) Even though only one option of test gas and initial filling pressure is accepted in FMVSS 303, new methodology for hydrogen system allows helium and hydrogen at reduced pressure as alternatives in addition to hydrogen at service pressure.
A new 6-speed automatic transmission (AT) has been developed with the aim of enhancing fuel economy, raising efficiency, and achieving greater compactness. The unit was built on a parallel-shaft structure similar to the previous Honda AT, which has high torque transmission efficiency. The new AT was given more gear speeds and the ability to handle higher input torque from the engine. On the one hand, bolt structure for shaft tightening was implemented, the forward-reverse shift mechanism was placed on the input shaft and common gear trains are provided. As a result of these and other measures, the total length of the new transmission is 18 mm shorter than the previous model 5-speed AT. A multi-plate lock-up clutch (LC) structure with a separate chamber in the torque converter was also adopted so that the lock-up torque capacity could be increased and the LC control range expanded.
The study of 10% ethanol blended gasoline (E10 gasoline) utilization has been conducted in the Japan Auto-Oil Program (JATOP). In order to clarify the impact of E10 gasoline on vehicle performances, exhaust emissions, evaporative emissions, driveability and material compatibility have been investigated by using domestic gasoline vehicles including mini motor vehicles which are particular to Japan. The test results reveal that E10 gasoline has no impact on exhaust emissions, engine startup time and acceleration period under the hot start condition, but a slight deterioration is observed in some test cases under the cold start condition using E10 gasolines with 50% distillation temperature (T50) level set to the upper limit of Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) K 2202. Regarding evaporative emissions, the tested vehicles shows no remarkable increase in the hot soak loss (HSL), diurnal breathing loss (DBL) and running loss (RL) testing with E10 gasolines.
We have successfully developed a system to estimate Indicated Mean Effective Pressure (hereafter "IMEP") by detecting the crankshaft angular velocity variation during one cycle of a four-stroke single-cylinder gasoline engine. The system has been commercially applied to the spark-ignition timing control system for small-displacement motorcycle engines. The determined amplitude of crankshaft angular velocity variation during one cycle is defined as "delta omega (Δω)." The relationship between Δω and IMEP has been experimentally examined using engine unit bench tests and actual motorcycles. From the experimental results, it was confirmed that Δω represents IMEP. This paper discusses the experimental study on the estimation of IMEP using crankshaft angular velocity variation.