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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

Key Outcomes of Year One of EcoCAR 2: Plugging in to the Future

EcoCAR 2: Plugging In to the Future (EcoCAR) is North America's premier collegiate automotive engineering competition, challenging students with systems-level advanced powertrain design and integration. The three-year Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) series is organized by Argonne National Laboratory, headline sponsored by the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) and General Motors (GM), and sponsored by more than 28 industry and government leaders. Fifteen university teams from across North America are challenged to reduce the environmental impact of a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu by redesigning the vehicle powertrain without compromising performance, safety, or consumer acceptability. During the three-year program, EcoCAR teams follow a real-world Vehicle Development Process (VDP) modeled after GM's own VDP. The VDP serves as a roadmap for the engineering process of designing, building and refining advanced technology vehicles.
Technical Paper

Developing a Methodology to Synthesize Terrain Profiles and Evaluate their Statistical Properties

The accuracy of computer-based ground vehicle durability and ride quality simulations depends on accurate representation of road surface topology as vehicle excitation data since most of the excitation exerted on a vehicle as it traverses terrain is provided by the terrain topology. It is currently not efficient to obtain accurate terrain profile data of sufficient length to simulate the vehicle being driven over long distances. Hence, durability and ride quality evaluations of a vehicle depend mostly on data collected from physical tests. Such tests are both time consuming and expensive, and can only be performed near the end of a vehicle's design cycle. This paper covers the development of a methodology to synthesize terrain profile data based on the statistical analysis of physically measured terrain profile data.
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.
Journal Article

Tire Traction of Commercial Vehicles on Icy Roads

Safety and minimal transit time are vital during transportation of essential commodities and passengers, especially in winter conditions. Icy roads are the worst driving conditions with the least available friction, leaving valuable cargo and precious human lives at stake. The study investigates the available friction at the tire-ice interface due to changes in key operational parameters. Experimental analysis of tractive performance of tires on ice was carried out indoor, using the terramechanics rig located at the Advanced Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory (AVDL) at Virginia Tech. The friction-slip ratio curves obtained from indoor testing were inputted into TruckSIM, defining tire behavior for various ice scenarios and then simulating performance of trucks on ice. The shortcomings of simulations in considering the effects of all the operational parameters result in differences between findings of indoor testing and truck performance simulations.
Journal Article

The Development of Terrain Pre-filtering Technique Based on Constraint Mode Tire Model

The vertical force generated from terrain-tire interaction has long been of interest for vehicle dynamic simulations and chassis development. To improve simulation efficiency while still providing reliable load prediction, a terrain pre-filtering technique using a constraint mode tire model is developed. The wheel is assumed to convey one quarter of the vehicle load constantly. At each location along the tire's path, the wheel center height is adjusted until the spindle load reaches the pre-designated load. The resultant vertical trajectory of the wheel center can be used as an equivalent terrain profile input to a simplified tire model. During iterative simulations, the filtered terrain profile, coupled with a simple point follower tire model is used to predict the spindle force. The same vehicle dynamic simulation system coupled with constraint mode tire model is built to generate reference forces.
Journal Article

A New Semi-Empirical Method for Estimating Tire Combined Slip Forces and Moments during Handling Maneuvers

Modeling the tire forces and moments (F&M) generation, during combined slip maneuvers, which involves cornering and braking/driving at the same time, is essential for the predictive vehicle performance analysis. In this study, a new semi-empirical method is introduced to estimate the tire combined slip F&M characteristics based on flat belt testing machine measurement data. This model is intended to be used in the virtual tire design optimization process. Therefore, it should include high accuracy, ease of parameterization, and fast computational time. Regression is used to convert measured F&M into pure slip multi-dimensional interpolant functions modified by weighting functions. Accurate combined slip F&M predictions are created by modifying pure slip F&M with empirically determined shape functions. Transient effects are reproduced using standard relaxation length equations. The model calculates F&M at the center of the contact patch.
Journal Article

Finite Element Modeling of Tire Transient Characteristics in Dynamic Maneuvers

Studying the kinetic and kinematics of the rim-tire combination is very important in full vehicle simulations, as well as for the tire design process. Tire maneuvers are either quasi-static, such as steady-state rolling, or dynamic, such as traction and braking. The rolling of the tire over obstacles and potholes and, more generally, over uneven roads are other examples of tire dynamic maneuvers. In the latter case, tire dynamic models are used for durability assessment of the vehicle chassis, and should be studied using high fidelity simulation models. In this study, a three-dimensional finite element model (FEM) has been developed using the commercial software package ABAQUS. The purpose of this study is to investigate the tire dynamic behavior in multiple case studies in which the transient characteristics are highly involved.
Journal Article

A Direct Yaw Control Algorithm for On- and Off-Road Yaw Stability

Models for off-road vehicles, such as farm equipment and military vehicles, require an off-road tire model in order to properly understand their dynamic behavior on off-road driving surfaces. Extensive literature can be found for on-road tire modeling, but not much can be found for off-road tire modeling. This paper presents an off-road tire model that was developed for use in vehicle handling studies. An on-road, dry asphalt tire model was first developed by performing rolling road force and moment testing. Off-road testing was then performed on dirt and gravel driving surfaces to develop scaling factors that explain how the lateral force behavior of the tire will scale from an on-road to an off-road situation. The tire models were used in vehicle simulation software to simulate vehicle behavior on various driving surfaces. The simulated vehicle response was compared to actual maximum speed before sliding vs. turning radius data for the studied vehicle to assess the tire model.
Journal Article

Anthropomimetic Traction Control: Quarter Car Model

Human expert drivers have the unique ability to combine correlated sensory inputs with repetitive learning to build complex perceptive models of the vehicle dynamics as well as certain key aspects of the tire-ground interface. This ability offers significant advantages for navigating a vehicle through the spatial and temporal uncertainties in a given environment. Conventional traction control algorithms utilize measurements of wheel slip to help insure that the wheels do not enter into an excessive slip condition such as burnout. This approach sacrifices peak performance to ensure that the slip limits are generic enough suck that burnout is avoided on a variety of surfaces: dry pavement, wet pavement, snow, gravel, etc. In this paper, a novel approach to traction control is developed using an anthropomimetic control synthesis strategy.
Journal Article

Vehicle System Simulator: Development and Validation

A graphical user interface (GUI) toolbox called Vehicle System Simulator (VSS) is developed in MATLAB to ease the use of this vehicle model and hopefully encourage its widespread application in the future. This toolbox uses the inherent MATLAB discrete-time solvers and is mainly based on Level-2 s-function design. This paper describes its built-in vehicle dynamics model based on multibody dynamics approach and nonlinear tire models, and traction/braking control systems including Cruise Control and Differential Braking systems. The built-in dynamics model is validated against CarSim 8 and the simulation results prove its accuracy. This paper illustrates the application of this new MATLAB toolbox called Vehicle System Simulator and discusses its development process, limitations, and future improvements.
Technical Paper

Yaw Stability Control and Emergency Roll Control for Vehicle Rollover Mitigation

In this paper a yaw stability control algorithm along with an emergency roll control strategy have been developed. The yaw stability controller and emergency roll controller were both developed using linear two degree-of-freedom vehicle models. The yaw stability controller is based on Lyapunov stability criteria and uses vehicle lateral acceleration and yaw rate measurements to calculate the corrective yaw moment required to stabilize the vehicle yaw motion. The corrective yaw moment is then applied by means of a differential braking strategy in which one wheel is selected to be braked with appropriate brake torque applied. The emergency roll control strategy is based on a rollover coefficient related to vehicle static stability factor. The emergency roll control strategy utilizes vehicle lateral acceleration measurements to calculate the roll coefficient. If the roll coefficient exceeds some predetermined threshold value the emergency roll control strategy will deploy.