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Technical Paper

Estimation of Vehicle Tire-Road Contact Forces: A Comparison between Artificial Neural Network and Observed Theory Approaches

One of the principal goals of modern vehicle control systems is to ensure passenger safety during dangerous maneuvers. Their effectiveness relies on providing appropriate parameter inputs. Tire-road contact forces are among the most important because they provide helpful information that could be used to mitigate vehicle instabilities. Unfortunately, measuring these forces requires expensive instrumentation and is not suitable for commercial vehicles. Thus, accurately estimating them is a crucial task. In this work, two estimation approaches are compared, an observer method and a neural network learning technique. Both predict the lateral and longitudinal tire-road contact forces. The observer approach takes into account system nonlinearities and estimates the stochastic states by using an extended Kalman filter technique to perform data fusion based on the popular bicycle model.
Technical Paper

Stability Analysis of Automotive Supervisory Control: A Survey

This paper focuses on stability of automotive supervisory control systems (ASCSs). It serves to introduce the concept of stability with respect to an entire ASCS. The realm of ASCSs is categorized and a brief description of pre-existing classical methods of stability analysis is presented. With the concept then having been fully introduced, an approach to evaluating stability of a key category of ASCS, the rule-based deterministic ASCS, is presented. This approach, cited from unrelated modern literature concerning stability of deterministic finite state machines, is novel in that its original target research area was not specifically automotive engineering.
Journal Article

Linear Quadratic Game Theory Approach to Optimal Preview Control of Vehicle Lateral Motion

Vehicle stability is maintained by proper interactions between the driver and vehicle stability control system. While driver describes the desired target path by commanding steering angle and acceleration/deceleration rates, vehicle stability controller tends to stabilize higher dynamics of the vehicle by correcting longitudinal, lateral, and roll accelerations. In this paper, a finite-horizon optimal solution to vehicle stability control is introduced in the presence of driver's dynamical decision making structure. The proposed concept is inspired by Nash strategy for exactly known systems with more than two players, in which driver, commanding steering wheel angle, and vehicle stability controller, applying compensated yaw moment through differential braking strategy, are defined as the dynamic players of the 2-player differential linear quadratic game.
Technical Paper

Model-Based Design of a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Control Strategy

The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team (HEVT) of Virginia Tech is participating in the 2011-2014 EcoCAR 2 competition in which the team is tasked with re-engineering the powertrain of a GM donated vehicle. The primary goals of the competition are to reduce well to wheels (WTW) petroleum energy use (PEU) and reduce WTW greenhouse gas (GHG) and criteria emissions while maintaining performance, safety, and consumer acceptability. To meet these goals HEVT has designed a series parallel plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) with multiple modes of operation. This paper will first cover development of the control system architecture with a dual CAN bus structure to meet the requirements of the vehicle architecture. Next an online optimization control strategy to minimize fuel consumption will be developed. A simple vehicle plant model will then be used for software-in-the-loop (SIL) testing to improve fuel economy.
Journal Article

Using Performance Margin and Dynamic Simulation for Location Aware Adaptation of Vehicle Dynamics

One seminal question that faces a vehicle's driver (either human or computer) is predicting the capability of the vehicle as it encounters upcoming terrain. A Performance Margin (PM) is defined in this work as the ratio of the required tractive effort to the available tractive effort for the front and rear respectively. This simple definition stems from and incorporates many traditional handling metrics and is robust in its scope of applicability. The PM is implemented in an Intervention Strategy demonstrating its use to avoid situations in which the vehicle exceeds its handling capabilities. Results from a design case study are presented to show the potential efficacy of developing a PM-based control system.
Technical Paper

Assessment of Heavy Vehicle EDR Technologies

Heavy-vehicle event data recorders (HVEDRs) provide a source of temporal vehicle data just prior to, during, and for a short period after, an event. In the 1990s, heavy-vehicle (HV) engine manufacturers expanded the capabilities of engine control units (ECU) and engine control modules (ECM) to include the ability to record and store small amounts of parametric vehicle data. This advanced capability has had a significant impact on vehicle safety by helping law enforcement, engineers, and researchers reconstruct events of a vehicle crash and understand the details surrounding that vehicle crash. Today, EDR technologies have been incorporated into a wide range of heavy vehicle (HV) safety systems (e.g., crash mitigation systems, air bag control systems, and behavioral monitoring systems). However, the adoption of EDR technologies has not been uniform across all classes of HVs or their associated vehicle systems.
Technical Paper

Identification of Road Surface Friction for Vehicle Safety Systems

A vehicle's response is predominately defined by the tire characteristics as they constitute the only contact between the vehicle and the road; and the surface friction condition is the primary attribute that determines these characteristics. The friction coefficient is not directly measurable through any sensor attachments in production-line vehicles. Therefore, current chassis control systems make use of various estimation methods to approximate a value. However a significant challenge is that these schemes require a certain level of perturbation (i.e. excitation by means of braking or traction) from the initial conditions to converge to the expected values; which might not be the case all the time during a regular drive.
Journal Article

Mitigating Heavy Truck Rear-End Crashes with the use of Rear-Lighting Countermeasures

In 2006, there were approximately 23,500 rear-end crashes involving heavy trucks (i.e., gross vehicle weight greater than 4,536 kg). The Enhanced Rear Signaling (ERS) for Heavy Trucks project was developed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to investigate methods to reduce or mitigate those crashes where a heavy truck has been struck from behind by another vehicle. Visual warnings have been shown to be effective, assuming the following driver is looking directly at the warning display or has his/her eyes drawn to it. A visual warning can be placed where it is needed and it can be designed so that its meaning is nearly unambiguous. FMCSA contracted with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) to investigate potential benefit of additional rear warning-light configurations as rear-end crash countermeasures for heavy trucks.
Technical Paper

Closed Loop Transaxle Synchronization Control Design

This paper covers the development of a closed loop transaxle synchronization algorithm which was a key deliverable in the control system design for the L3 Enigma, a Battery Dominant Hybrid Electric Vehicle. Background information is provided to help the reader understand the history that lead to this unique solution of the input and output shaft synchronizing that typically takes place in a manual vehicle transmission or transaxle when shifting into a gear from another or into a gear from neutral when at speed. The algorithm stability is discussed as it applies to system stability and how stability impacts the speed at which a shift can take place. Results are simulated in The MathWorks Simulink programming environment and show how traction motor technology can be used to efficiently solve what is often a machine design issue. The vehicle test bed to which this research is applied is a parallel biodiesel hybrid electric vehicle called the Enigma.
Technical Paper

Development of a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Control Strategy Employing Software-In-the-Loop Techniques

In an age of growing complexity with regards to vehicle control systems, verification and validation of control algorithms is a rigorous and time consuming process. With the help of rapid control prototyping techniques, designers and developers have cost effective ways of validating controls under a quicker time frame. These techniques involve developments of plant models that replicate the systems that a control algorithm will interface with. These developments help to reduce costs associated with construction of prototypes. In standard design cycles, iterations were needed on prototypes in order to finalize systems. These iterations could result in code changes, new interfacing, and reconstruction, among other issues. The time and resources required to complete these were far beyond desired. With the help of simulated interfaces, many of these issues can be recognized prior to physical integration.
Technical Paper

Robust Optimal Control of Vehicle Lateral Motion with Driver-in-the-Loop

Dynamic “Game Theory” brings together different features that are keys to many situations in control design: optimization behavior, the presence of multiple agents/players, enduring consequences of decisions and robustness with respect to variability in the environment, etc. In previous studies, it was shown that vehicle stability can be represented by a cooperative dynamic/difference game such that its two agents (players), namely, the driver and the vehicle stability controller (VSC), are working together to provide more stability to the vehicle system. While the driver provides the steering wheel control, the VSC command is obtained by the Nash game theory to ensure optimal performance as well as robustness to disturbances. The common two-degree of freedom (DOF) vehicle handling performance model is put into discrete form to develop the game equations of motion. This study focus on the uncertainty in the inputs, and more specifically, the driver's steering input.
Journal Article

Analytical Modelling of Diesel Powertrain Fuel System and Consumption Rate

Vehicle analytical models are often favorable due to describing the physical phenomena associated with vehicle operation following from the principles of physics, with explainable mathematical trends and with extendable modeling to other types of vehicle. However, no experimentally validated analytical model has been developed as yet of diesel engine fuel consumption rate. The present paper demonstrates and validates for trucks and light commercial vehicles an analytical model of supercharged diesel engine fuel consumption rate. The study points out with 99.6% coefficient of determination that the average percentage of deviation of the steady speed-based simulated results from the corresponding field data is 3.7% for all Freeway cycles. The paper also shows with 98% coefficient of determination that the average percentage of deviation of the acceleration-based simulated results from the corresponding field data under negative acceleration is 0.12 %.
Technical Paper

Development & Integration of a Charge Sustaining Control Strategy for a Series-Parallel Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle

The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team of Virginia Tech (HEVT) is participating in the 2012-2014 EcoCAR 2: Plugging in to the Future Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition series organized by Argonne National Lab (ANL), and sponsored by General Motors Corporation (GM) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The goals of the competition are to reduce well-to-wheel (WTW) petroleum energy consumption (PEU), WTW greenhouse gas (GHG) and criteria emissions while maintaining vehicle performance, consumer acceptability and safety. Following the EcoCAR 2 Vehicle Development Process (VDP), HEVT is designing, building, and refining an advanced technology vehicle over the course of the three year competition using a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu donated by GM as a base vehicle.
Technical Paper

Vehicle Refinement and Testing of a Series-Parallel Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle

The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team (HEVT) of Virginia Tech is ready to compete in the Year 3 Final Competition for EcoCAR 2: Plugging into the Future. The team is confident in the reliability of their vehicle, and expects to finish among the top schools at Final Competition. During Year 3, the team refined the vehicle while following the EcoCAR 2 Vehicle Development Process (VDP). Many refinements came about in Year 3 such as the implementation of a new rear subframe, the safety analysis of the high voltage (HV) bus, and the integration of Charge Sustaining (CS) control code. HEVT's vehicle architecture is an E85 Series-Parallel Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), which has many strengths and weaknesses. The primary strength is the pure EV mode and Series mode, which extend the range of the vehicle and reduce Petroleum Energy Usage (PEU) and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.
Technical Paper

Performance Measurement of Vehicle Antilock Braking Systems (ABS)

Outdoor objective evaluations form an important part of both tire and vehicle design process since they validate the design parameters through actual tests and can provide insight into the functional performances associated with the vehicle. Even with the industry focused towards developing simulation models, their need cannot be completely eliminated as they form the basis for approving the performance predictions of any newly developed model. An objective test was conducted to measure the ABS performance as part of validation of a tire simulation design tool. A sample vehicle and a set of tires were used to perform the tests- on a road with known profile. These specific vehicle and tire sets were selected due to the availability of the vehicle parameters, tire parameters and the ABS control logic. A test matrix was generated based on the validation requirements.
Technical Paper

Avoiding the Pitfalls in Motorsports Data Acquisition

Restrictions on track testing, combined with advances in technology, have contributed to an increased dependence on sensors and data acquisition for diagnosing problems and improving performance in motorsports vehicles. This dependence has created a new set of challenges for race engineers to collect quality data from a vehicle at the track. Successful 7- or 8-post shaker rig testing is highly dependent on the quality of the data acquired at the track. An improperly configured data acquisition system can actually be worse than a faulty sensor. This paper highlights a few of the most common problems in motorsports data acquisition: aliasing and sample rate selection. The effects of these problems are described for typical suspension sensors such as accelerometers, shock potentiometers, load cells, and laser ride height sensors. An experimental case study is presented to explain the implications of these problems.
Technical Paper

A Frequency Analysis of Semiactive Control Methods for Vehicle Application

The performance of five different skyhook control methods is studied experimentally, using a quarter-car rig. The control methods that are analyzed include: skyhook control, groundhook control, hybrid control, displacement skyhook, and relative displacement skyhook. Upon evaluating the performance of each method in frequency domain for various control conditions, they are compared with each other as well as with passive damping. The results indicate that no one control method outperforms other control methods at both the sprung and unsprung mass natural frequencies. Each method can perform better than the other control methods in some respect. Hybrid control, however, comes close to providing the best compromise between different dynamic demands on a primary suspension. The results indicate that hybrid control can offer benefits to both the sprung and unsprung mass with control gain settings that provide equal contributions from skyhook control and groundhook control.
Technical Paper

Animal-Vehicle Encounter Naturalistic Driving Data Collection and Photogrammetric Analysis

Animal-vehicle collision (AVC) is a significant safety issue on American roads. Each year approximately 1.5 million AVCs occur in the U.S., the majority of them involving deer. The increasing use of cameras and radar on vehicles provides opportunities for prevention or mitigation of AVCs, particularly those involving deer or other large animals. Developers of such AVC avoidance/mitigation systems require information on the behavior of encountered animals, setting characteristics, and driver response in order to design effective countermeasures. As part of a larger study, naturalistic driving data were collected in high AVC incidence areas using 48 participant-owned vehicles equipped with data acquisition systems (DAS). Continuous driving data including forward video, location information, and vehicle kinematics were recorded. The respective 11TB dataset contains 35k trips covering 360K driving miles.
Journal Article

Investigating the Parameterization of Dugoff Tire Model Using Experimental Tire-Ice Data

Tire modeling plays an important role in the development of an Active Vehicle Safety System. As part of a larger project that aims at developing an integrated chassis control system, this study investigates the performance of a 19” all-season tire on ice for a sport utility vehicle. A design of experiment has been formulated to quantify the effect of operational parameters, specifically: wheel slip, normal load, and inflation pressure on the tire tractive performance. The experimental work was conducted on the Terramechanics Rig in the Advanced Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory at Virginia Tech. The paper investigates an approach for the parameterization of the Dugoff tire model based on the experimental data collected. Compared to other models, this model is attractive in terms of its simplicity, low number of parameters, and easy implementation for real-time applications.
Technical Paper

A Simulation-Based Study on the Improvement of Semi-Truck Roll Stability in Roundabouts

This paper studies the effect of different longitudinal load conditions, roundabout cross-sectional geometry, and different semi-truck pneumatic suspension systems on roll stability in roundabouts, which have become more and more popular in urban settings. Roundabouts are commonly designed in their size and form to accommodate articulated heavy vehicles (AHVs) by evaluating such affects as off-tracking. However, the effect of the roadway geometry in roundabouts on the roll dynamics of semi-tractors and trailers are equally important, along with their entry and exit configuration. , Because the effect of the roundabout on the dynamics of trucks is further removed from the immediate issues considered by roadway planner, at times they are not given as much consideration as other roadway design factors.