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Technical Paper

Enhancement of ABS Performance through On-Board Estimation of the Tires' Response by Means of Smart Tires

Active controls for braking dynamics are widely investigated in literature [1]-[8] as one of the way to improve vehicle safety and avoid collisions. Active systems commonly mounted on passenger cars like ABS/EBD, have achieved a high level of robustness towards possible changes in the tires' characteristics due to multiple causes such as: under-inflation, wear and also replacement of tires with new ones different from the first equipment series. Although these electronic control systems have been designed to be robust and no case-sensitive to such variations in tire conditions, a further improvement of their performance could be achieved by means of a continuous adaptive control.
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

Development of a Control Strategy for a Suspension System with an Active Variable Kinematics

Active and semi-active suspension systems are widely diffused into the automotive industry. Most of the proposed devices try to achieve a better compromise between handling and comfort requirements by replacing traditional springs, shock absorbers and antiroll bars with active or semi-active actuators allowing to change suspension stiffness and damping according to a suitable control strategy. An alternative way for controlling passenger car suspensions is proposed in this paper. Traditional passive springs and dampers are maintained, while the geometry of the suspension and thus its kinematics is actively varied. By changing the suspension geometry, spring and damper rates are in fact varied, this modifying the vertical load on the tire and/or the vehicle height from the ground.
Technical Paper

A 2D Model for Tractor Tire-Soil Interaction: Evaluation of the Maximum Traction Force and Comparison with Experimental Results

The paper investigates the interaction between soil and tractor tires through a 2D numerical model. The tire is schematized as a rigid ring presenting a series of rigid tread bars on the external circumference. The outer profile of the tire is divided into a series of elements, each one able to exchange a normal and a tangential contact force with the ground. A 2D soil model was developed to compute the forces at the ground-tire interface: the normal force is determined on the basis of the compression of the soil generated by the sinking of the tire. The soil is modeled through a layer of springs characterized by two different stiffness for the loading (lower stiffness) and unloading (higher stiffness) condition. This scheme allows to introduce a memory effect on the soil which results stiffer and keeps a residual sinking after the passage of the tire. The normal contact force determines the maximum value of tangential force provided before the soil fails.
Technical Paper

Numerical Investigation of the Vertical Dynamics of an Agricultural Vehicle Operating on Deformable Soil

This work focuses on the analysis of the vertical dynamics of an agricultural tractor, investigating the influence of suspensions' parameters on riding comfort and contact forces. The use of lugged tires coupled with the operation over banked, irregular and deformable tracks, determines significant levels of vertical acceleration over several components of the tractor. These operating conditions have a direct effect on the driver, whose alertness and efficiency are undermined by the exposure to high levels of acceleration for a long time. Secondly, variations of the normal and traction forces provided by the tires affect the quality of tillage and other operations. The paper presents a multi-body vehicle model of a tractor interfaced with a tire-soil contact model allowing to take into account soil's deformation and tread pattern design.
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

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

Development of an ESP Control Logic Based on Force Measurements Provided by Smart Tires

The present paper investigates possible enhancement of ESP performance associated with the use of smart tires. In particular a novel control logic based on a direct feedback on the longitudinal forces developed by the four tires is considered. The control logic was developed using a simulation tool including a 14 dofs vehicle model and a smart tires emulator. Performance of the control strategy was evaluated in a series of handling maneuvers. The same maneuvers were performed on a HiL test bench interfacing the same vehicle model with a production ESP ECU. Results of the two logics were analyzed and compared.
Journal Article

Friction Estimation at Tire-Ground Contact

The friction estimation at the tire-ground contact is crucial for the active safety of vehicles. Friction estimation is a key problem of vehicle dynamics and the ultimate solution is still unknown. However the proposed approach, based on a simple idea and on a simple hardware, provides an actual solution. The idea is to compare the tire characteristic at a given friction (nominal characteristic) with the actual characteristic that the tire has while running. The comparison among these two characteristics (the nominal one and the actual one) gives the desired friction coefficient. The friction coefficient is expressed in vector form and a number of running parameters are identified. The mentioned comparison is an efficient but complex algorithm based on a mathematical formulation of the tire characteristic. The actual tire characteristic is somehow measured in real time by a relatively simple smart wheel which is able to detect the three forces and the three moments acting at the hub.
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.
Technical Paper

Tire Ply-Steer, Conicity and Rolling Resistance - Analytical Formulae for Accurate Assessment of Vehicle Performance during Straight Running

The aim of the paper is to provide simple and accurate analytical formulae describing the straight motion of a road vehicle. Such formulae can be used to compute either the steering torque or the additional rolling resistance induced by vehicle side-slip angle. The paper introduces a revised formulation of the Handling Diagram Theory to take into account tire ply-steer, conicity and road banking. Pacejka’s Handling Diagram Theory is based on a relatively simple fully non-linear single track model. We will refer to the linear part of the Handling Diagram, since straight motion will be considered only. Both the elastokinematics of suspension system and tire characteristics are taken into account. The validation of the analytical expressions has been performed both theoretically and after a subjective-objective test campaign. By means of the new and unreferenced analytical formulae, practical hints are given to set to zero the steering torque during straight running.