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Technical Paper

On the Impact of the Maximum Available Tire-Road Friction Coefficient Awareness in a Brake-Based Torque Vectoring System

Tire-road interaction is one of the main concerns in the design of control strategies for active/semi-active differentials oriented to improve handling performances of a vehicle. In particular, the knowledge of the friction coefficient at the tire-road interface is crucial for achieving the best performance in any working condition. State observers and estimators have been developed at the purpose, based on the measurements traditionally carried out on board vehicle (steer angle, lateral acceleration, yaw rate, wheels speed). However, until today, the problem of tire-road friction coefficient estimation (and especially of its maximum value) has not completely been solved. Thus, active control systems developed so far rely on a driver manual selection of the road adherence condition (anyway characterized by a rough and imprecise quality) or on a conservative tuning of the control logic in order to ensure vehicle safety among different tire-road friction coefficients.
Technical Paper

Lightweight Design of a Racing Motorcycle Wheel

Mass minimization is a key objective for the design of racing motorcycle wheels. The structural optimization of a front motorcycle wheel is presented in the paper. Topology Optimization has been employed for deriving optimized structural layouts. The minimum compliance problem has been solved, symmetry and periodicity constraints have been introduced. The wheel has been optimized by considering several loading conditions. Actual loads have been measured during track tests by means of a special measuring wheel. The forces applied by the tire to the rim have been introduced in an original way. Different solutions characterized by different numbers of spokes have been analyzed and compared. The actual racing wheel has been further optimized accounting for technological constraints and the mass has been reduced down to 2.9 kilograms.
Technical Paper

Lightweight Design and Construction of Aluminum Wheels

In this paper the lightweight design and construction of road vehicle aluminum wheels is dealt with, referring particularly to safety. Dedicated experimental tests aimed at assessing the fatigue life behavior of aluminum alloy A356 - T6 have been performed. Cylindrical specimens have been extracted from three different locations in the wheel. Fully reversed strain-controlled and load-controlled fatigue tests have been performed and the stress/strain-life curves on the three areas of the wheel have been computed and compared. The constant amplitude rotary bending fatigue test of the wheel has been simulated by means of Finite Element method. The FE model has been validated by measuring the strain at several points of the wheel during the actual test. From the FE model, the stress tensor time history on the whole wheel over a loading cycle has been extracted.
Technical Paper

In-Tyre Sensors Induced Benefits on Sideslip Angle and Friction Coefficient Estimation

Aim of this study is to analyze the benefits of the measures provided by smart tyres on tyre-road friction coefficient and vehicle sideslip angle estimation. In particular, a smart tyre constituted by 2 tri-axial accelerometers glued on the tyre inner liner is considered which is able to provide the measures of the tyre-road contact forces once per wheel turn. These measures are added to the ones usually present onboard vehicle (steer angle, lateral acceleration and yaw rate) and following included into an Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) based on a single-track vehicle model. Performance of the proposed observer is evaluated on a series of handling maneuvers and its robustness to road bank angle, tyre and vehicle parameters variation is discussed.
Technical Paper

Integrated Vehicle and Driveline Modeling

In the last years automotive industry has shown a growing interest in exploring the field of vehicle dynamic control, improving handling performances and safety of the vehicle, and actuating devices able to optimize the driving torque distribution to the wheels. These techniques are defined as torque vectoring. The potentiality of these systems relies on the strong coupling between longitudinal and lateral vehicle dynamics established by tires and powertrain. Due to this fact the detailed (and correct) simulation of the dynamic behaviour of the driveline has a strong importance in the development of these control systems, which aim is to optimize the contact forces distribution. The aim of this work is to build an integrated vehicle and powertrain model in order to provide a proper instrument to be used in the development of such systems, able to reproduce the dynamic interaction between vehicle and driveline and its effects on the handling performances.
Technical Paper

Design and Construction of a Test Rig for Assessing Tyre Characteristics at Rollover

The paper presents a new test rig (named RuotaVia) composed basically by a drum (2,6 m diameter), providing a running contact surface for vehicle wheels. A number of measurements on either full vehicles or vehicle sub-systems (single suspension system or single tyre) can be performed. Tire characteristics influencing rollover can be assessed. The steady-state maximum loads are as follows: Radial: 100kN, tangential: 100kN, lateral (axial with respect to the drum): 100kN. The superstructure carrying a measuring hub can excite the wheel under test up to 20 Hz in lateral and vertical directions. The steer angle range is ± 25 deg, the camber range is ± 80 deg. The minimum eigenfrequency of the drum is higher than 90 Hz and its maximum tangential speed is 440 km/h.
Journal Article

Comparison of Torque Vectoring Control Strategies for a IWM Vehicle

In recent years, concerns for environmental pollution and oil price stimulated the demand for vehicles based on technologies alternative to traditional IC engines. Nowadays several carmakers include hybrid vehicles among their offer and first full electric vehicles appear on the market. Among the different layout of the electric power-train, four in-wheel motors appear to be one of the most attractive. Besides increasing the inner room, this architecture offers the interesting opportunity of easily and efficiently distribute the driving/braking torque on the four wheels. This characteristic can be exploited to generate a yaw moment (torque vectoring) able to increase lateral stability and to improve the handling of a vehicle. The present paper presents and compares two different torque vectoring control strategies for an electric vehicle with four in-wheel motors. Performances of the control strategies are evaluated by means of numerical simulations of open and closed loop maneuvers.
Journal Article

Race Motorcycle Smart Wheel

A wheel able to measure the generalized forces at the hub of a race motorcycle has been developed and used. The wheel has a very limited mass. It is made from magnesium with a special structure to sense the forces and provide the required level of stiffness. The wheel has been tested both indoor for preliminary approval and on the track. The three forces and the three moments acting at the hub can be measured with a resolution of 1N and 0.3Nm respectively. A specifically programmed DSP (Digital Signal Processor) embedded in the sensor allows real-time acquisition and processing of the six signals of forces/torques components. The signals are sent via Bluetooth to an onboard receiver connected to the vehicle CAN (Controller Area Network) bus. Each signal is sampled at 200Hz. The wheel can be used to derive the actual tyre characteristics or to record the loads acting at the hub.
Journal Article

Model-Based Wheel Torque and Backlash Estimation for Drivability Control

To improve torque management algorithms for drivability, the powertrain controller must be able to compensate for the nonlinear dynamics of the driveline. In particular, the presence of backlash in the transmission and drive shafts excites sharp torque fluctuations during tip-in or tip-out transients, leading to a deterioration of the vehicle drivability and NVH. This paper proposes a model-based estimator that predicts the wheel torque in an automotive drivetrain, accounting for the effects of backlash and drive shaft flexibility. The starting point of this work is a control-oriented model of the transmission and vehicle drivetrain dynamics that predicts the wheel torque during tip-in and tip-out transients at fixed gear. The estimator is based upon a switching structure that combines a Kalman Filter and an open-loop prediction based on the developed model.
Technical Paper

Instrumented steering wheel for accurate ADAS development

The knowledge of the forces exerted by each hand of the driver at the steering wheel is useful for a better understanding of the driver steering action. This information is needed while developing haptic steering wheels useful for tuning Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). The actual forces applied by the driver’s hands can be measured by means of a new Instrumented Steering Wheel (ISW), that, by using two six axis load cells, can measure the three force components and the three moment components exerted by the two hands, separately. Additionally, the instrumented steering wheel allows to measure the grip force, defined as the holding force applied by each hand on the handle. A full compensation of the inertia forces due to the vehicle acceleration guarantees an extremely high level of accuracy in the measure of the forces exerted by the driver. The resolution is just 0.1 N. The ISW has been already used for a couple of ADAS activities.
Journal Article

Test Rig for Characterization of Automotive Suspension Systems

A test rig (named RuotaVia) is presented for the in-door testing of road vehicle suspension systems. It is basically a drum (ϕ 2.6 m) providing a running surface for testing the dynamic performance of a single tire or suspension system (corner). The suspension system is instrumented for the measurement of the forces and the moments acting at each joint connecting the suspension to the car body. A new 6 axis load cell was designed and manufactured for this purpose. The accelerations in various locations of the system (wheel carrier, suspension arms, …) and the wheel centre displacements in the longitudinal and vertical directions are monitored. The effect of the dynamic interaction between the test rig and the suspension system is discussed in the paper. The direct measurement of the forces and moments at the suspension-chassis joints is still an effective way for understanding the vibration and harshness (VH) suspension performances.
Journal Article

A Method for Vibration and Harshness Analysis Based on Indoor Testing of Automotive Suspension Systems

The paper presents a method for the indoor testing of road vehicle suspension systems. A suspension is positioned on a rotating drum which is located in the Laboratory for the Safety of Transport at Politecnico di Milano. Special six-axis load cells have been designed and used for measuring the forces/moments acting at each suspension-chassis joints. The forces/moments, wheel accelerations, displacements are measured up to 100 Hz. Two different types of test can be performed. The tire/wheel unbalance effect on the suspension system behavior (Vibration and Harshness, VH) has been analyzed by testing the suspension system from zero to the vehicle maximum speed on a flat surface and by monitoring the forces transmitted to the chassis. In the second kind of test, the suspension system has been excited as the wheel passes over different cleats fixed on the drum.
Journal Article

Experimental Characterization of the Lateral Response of a Tire under Hydroplaning Condition

Hydroplaning represents a threat for riding safety since a wedge of water generated at the tire-road interface can lift tires from the ground thus preventing the development of tangential contact forces. Under this condition directionality and stability of the vehicle can be seriously compromised. The paper aims at characterizing the tire lateral response while approaching the hydroplaning speed: several experimental tests were carried out on a special test track covered with a 8-mm high water layer using a vehicle equipped with a dynamometric hub on the front left wheel. A series of swept sine steer maneuvers were performed increasing the vehicle speed in order to reach a full hydroplaning condition. Variations of tire cornering stiffness and relaxation length were investigated while the vehicle approaches the hydroplaning speed. Experimental tests stated that a residual capability of generating lateral forces is still present also close to the full hydroplaning condition.