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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

Control Strategy for the Excitation of a Complete Vehicle Test Rig with Terrain Constraints

A unique concept for a multi-body test rig enabling the simulation of longitudinal, steering and vertical dynamics was developed at the Institute for Mechatronic Systems (IMS) at TU Darmstadt. A prototype of this IMS test rig is currently being built. In conjunction with the IMS test rig, the Vehicle Terrain Performance Laboratory (VTPL) at Virginia Tech further developed a full car, seven degree of freedom (7 DOF) simulation model capable of accurately reproducing measured displacement, pitch, and roll of the vehicle body due to terrain excitation. The results of the 7 DOF car model were used as the reference input to the multi-body IMS test rig model. The goal of the IMS/VTPL joint effort was to determine whether or not a controller for the IMS test rig vertical actuator could accurately reproduce wheel displacements due to different measured terrain constraints.
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.
Journal Article

Fleetwide Safety Benefits of Production Forward Collision and Lane Departure Warning Systems

Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems are two active safety systems that have recently been added to the U.S. New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) evaluation. Vehicles that pass confirmation tests may advertise the presence of FCW and LDW alongside the vehicle's star safety rating derived from crash tests. This paper predicts the number of crashes and injured drivers that could be prevented if all vehicles in the U.S. fleet were equipped with production FCW and/or LDW systems. Models of each system were developed using the test track data collected for 16 FCW and 10 LDW systems by the NCAP confirmation tests. These models were used in existing fleetwide benefits models developed for FCW and LDW. The 16 FCW systems evaluated could have potentially prevented between 9% and 53% of all rear-end collisions and prevented between 19% and 60% of injured (MAIS2+) drivers. Earlier warning times prevented more warnings and injuries.
Journal Article

Battery Charge Balance and Correction Issues in Hybrid Electric Vehicles for Individual Phases of Certification Dynamometer Driving Cycles as Used in EPA Fuel Economy Label Calculations

This study undertakes an investigation of the effect of battery charge balance in hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) on EPA fuel economy label values. EPA's updated method was fully implemented in 2011 and uses equations which weight the contributions of fuel consumption results from multiple dynamometer tests to synthesize city and highway estimates that reflect average U.S. driving patterns. For the US06 and UDDS cycles, the test results used in the computation come from individual phases within the overall certification driving cycles. This methodology causes additional complexities for hybrid vehicles, because although they are required to be charge-balanced over the course of a full drive cycle, they may have net charge or discharge within the individual phases. As a result, the fuel consumption value used in the label value calculation can be skewed.
Technical Paper

Refinement and Testing of an E85 Split Parallel EREV

The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team of Virginia Tech (HEVT) is participating in the 2009 - 2011 EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge 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). Following GM's Vehicle Development Process (VDP), HEVT established team goals that meet or exceed the competition requirements for EcoCAR in the design of a plug-in extended range hybrid electric vehicle. The competition requires participating teams to re-engineer a stock crossover utility vehicle donated by GM. The result of this design process is an Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV) that uses grid electric energy and E85 fuel for propulsion. The vehicle design has achieved an SAE J1711 utility factor corrected fuel consumption of 2.9 L(ge)/100 km (82 mpgge) with an all-electric range of 87 km (54 miles) [1].
Journal Article

Field Relevance of the New Car Assessment Program Lane Departure Warning Confirmation Test

The availability of active safety systems, such as Lane Departure Warning (LDW), has recently been added as a rating factor in the U.S. New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). The objective of this study is to determine the relevance of the NCAP LDW confirmation test to real-world road departure crashes. This study is based on data collected as part of supplemental crash reconstructions performed on 890 road departure collisions from the National Automotive Sampling System, Crashworthiness Data System (NASS/CDS). Scene diagrams and photographs were examined to determine the lane departure and lane marking characteristics not available in the original data. The results suggest that the LDW confirmation test captures many of the conditions observed in real-world road departures. For example, 40% of all single vehicle collisions in the dataset involved a drift-out-of-lane type of departures represented by the test.
Technical Paper

Sensitivity of Preferred Driving Postures and Determination of Core Seat Track Adjustment Ranges

With advances in virtual prototyping, accurate digital modeling of driving posture is regarded as a fundamental step in the design of ergonomic driver-seat-cabin systems. Extensive work on driving postures has been carried out focusing on the measurement and prediction of driving postures and the determination of comfortable joint angle ranges. However, studies on postural sensitivity are scarce. The current study investigated whether a driver-selected posture actually represents the most preferred one, by comparing the former with ratings of postures selected at 20 predefined places around the original hip joint center (HJC). An experiment was undertaken in a lab setting, using two distinctive driving package geometries: one for a sedan and the other for an SUV. The 20 postural ratings were compared with that of the initial user-selected position.
Technical Paper

A Methodology for Laboratory Testing of Truck Cab Suspensions

This work pertains to laboratory testing of truck cab suspensions for the purpose of improving in-cab ride quality. It describes the testing procedure of a complete truck cab suspension while still being mounted on the vehicle. It allows for testing with minimal amount of resources, limited to two mobile actuators and minimal modifications to the stock vehicle. The actuators can be attached to any axle through a set of modified brake drums and excite the drive axle in a vertical plane. The excitation signal sent to the actuators can be in phase for a heave type motion or out of phase for a roll motion. The chassis shock absorbers are replaced with rigid links to prevent the actuator input from becoming filtered by the primary suspension. This allows the input to reach the cab suspension more directly and the cab to be excited across a broader range of frequencies.
Journal Article

Comparison of the Performance of 7-Post and 8-Post Dynamic Shaker Rigs for Vehicle Dynamics Studies

This paper documents a simple theoretical analysis and an experimental performance comparison of the advantages of an 8-post shaker rig relative to a conventional 7-post shaker rig. A simple static model describing the chassis roll and warp characteristics is first presented to illustrate the differences between 7-post and 8-post configurations, and the conditions where an additional aeroloader provides an advantage. Using a late model NASCAR Sprint Cup car, a series of experimental tests were conducted with the 8-post shaker rig at the Virginia Institute for Performance Engineering and Research (VIPER) facility in both 7-post and 8-post configurations. Experimental results confirm the hypothesis that an 8-post configuration is able to more accurately reproduce target motions of the chassis and suspension when those motions include a chassis warp condition.
Technical Paper

Can Semiactive Dampers with Skyhook Control Improve Roll Stability of Passenger Vehicles?

Skyhook control has been used extensively for semiactive dampers for a variety of applications, most widely for passenger vehicle suspensions. This paper provides an experimental evaluation of how well skyhook control works for improving roll stability of a passenger vehicle. After discussing the formulation for various semiactive control methods that have been suggested in the past for vehicle suspensions, the paper includes the implementation of a semiactive system with magneto-rheological (MR) dampers on a sport utility vehicle. The vehicle is used for a series of road tests that includes lane change maneuvers, with different types of suspensions. The suspensions that are tested include the stock suspension, the uncontrolled MR dampers, skyhook control, and a new semiactive control method called “SIA skyhook.” The SIA Skyhook augments the conventional skyhook control with steering input, in order to account for the suspension requirements during a lateral maneuver.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic Evaluation of Two Maglev Designs

Wind tunnel tests were conducted on two variations of a Grumman design for a Maglev vehicle The tests employed a moving belt system simulation of an elevated track which was designed to properly simulate the flowfield for Maglev vehicle configurations of the EMS type where the vehicle undercarriage partially wraps around or encloses the track Lift and drag forces and vehicle pitching moments were measured over a wide range of Reynolds number and the results compared with computations made by Grumman The tests also included measurements of flowfield velocity and turbulence profiles downstream of the vehicles and pressure measurements over the vehicle nose The test results showed a slight difference between the two designs with a possible reason to give preference to one of the designs due to reduced pitching moment.
Technical Paper

Using Surface Texture Parameters to Relate Flat Belt Laboratory Traction Data to the Road

Indoor laboratory tire testing on flat belt machines and tire testing on the actual road yield different results. Testing on the machine offers the advantage of repeatability of test conditions, control of the environmental condition, and performance evaluation at extreme conditions. However, certain aspects of the road cannot be reproduced in the laboratory. It is thus essential to understand the connection between the machine and the road, as tires spend all their life on the road. This research, investigates the reasons for differences in tire performance on the test machine and the road. The first part of the paper presents a review on the differences between tire testing in the lab and on the road, and existing methods to account for differences in test surfaces.