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Technical Paper

Identification of Agricultural Tyres' Handling Characteristics from Full Vehicle Experimental Tests

For passenger cars, individual tyre model parameters, used in vehicle models able to simulate vehicle handling behavior, are traditionally derived from expensive component indoor laboratory tests as a result of an identification procedure minimizing the error with respect to force and slip measurements. Indoor experiments on agricultural tyres are instead more challenging and thus generally not performed due to tyre size and applied forces. However, the knowledge of their handling characteristics is becoming more and more important since in the next few years, all agricultural vehicles are expected to run on ordinary asphalt roads at a speed of 80km/h. The present paper presents a methodology to identify agricultural tyres' handling characteristics based only on the measurements carried out on board vehicle (vehicle sideslip angle, yaw rate, lateral acceleration, speed and steer angle) during standard handling maneuvers (step-steers, J-turns, etc.), instead than during indoor tests.
Technical Paper

LTV MPC Vehicle Model for Autonomous Driving in Limit Conditions

The Linear Time Varying (LTV) Model Predictive Control (MPC) is a linear model predictive control based on linearization of the nonlinear vehicle model. The linearization is carried out consideing each vehicle state. The developed model is able to steer to avoid obstacles and follow a given path. Once the optimal parameters are found, both in terms of trajectory following and real-time performances, the LTV-MPC is used for assessing the limit vehicle conditions as a function of the vehicle forward target speed, the obstacle shape as well as the road conditions (both dry and wet road conditions were taken into account). It is shown that, to avoid collisions, given performances of the vehicle brakes and of the mounted sensors are required.
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

A Method for the Characterization of Off-Road Terrain Severity

Highway and roadway surface measurement is a practice that has been ongoing for decades now. This sort of measurement is intended to ensure a safe level of road perturbances. The measurement may be conducted by a slow moving apparatus directly measuring the elevation of the road, at varying distance intervals, to obtain a road profile, with varying degrees of resolution. An alternate means is to measure the surface roughness at highway speeds using accelerometers coupled with high speed distance measurements, such as laser sensors. Vehicles out rigged with such a system are termed inertial profilers. This type of inertial measurement provides a sort of filtered roadway profile. Much research has been conducted on the analysis of highway roughness, and the associated metrics involved. In many instances, it is desirable to maintain an off-road course such that the course will provide sufficient challenges to a vehicle during durability testing.
Journal Article

Numerical and Experimental Investigation on Vehicles in Platoon

Many studies have been carried out to optimize the aerodynamic performances of a single car or a single vehicle. In present days the traffic increases and sophisticated technologies are developing to guarantee the drivers safety, to minimize the fuel consumption and be more environmentally friendly. Within this research area a new technique that is being studied is Platooning: this means that different vehicles travel in a configuration that minimizes the aerodynamic drag and therefore the fuel consumption and the longitudinal space. In the present study platoons with different vehicles and configurations are taken into account, to analyze the influence of car shape and relative distance between the vehicles. The research has been carried out using CFD techniques to investigate the different flow fields around different platoons, while wind tunnel tests have been used to validate the results of the CFD simulations.
Journal Article

NLMPC for Real Time Path Following and Collision Avoidance

This paper presents a nonlinear control approach to achieve good performances in vehicle path following and collision avoidance when the vehicle is driving under cruise highway conditions. Nonlinear model predictive control (NLMPC) is adopted to achieve online trajectory control based on a simplified vehicle model. GMRES/Continuation algorithm is used to solve the online optimization problem. Simulations show that the proposed controller is capable of tracking the desired path as well as avoiding the obstacles.
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.