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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

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.
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.