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Journal Article

The Next Generation “Voltec” Extended Range EV Propulsion System

The Chevrolet Volt is an electric vehicle (EV) with extended-range (ER) that is capable of operation on battery power alone, and on power generated by an on-board gasoline engine after depletion of the battery charge. For 2016, GM has developed the next generation of the Volt vehicle and “Voltec” propulsion system. Building on the experience of the first generation Volt, the second generation targeted improved all-electric range, improved charge sustaining fuel economy, and improved performance. All of this was to be accomplished while maintaining the EV character of the first generation Volt which customers clearly valued. This paper describes the next generation “Voltec” system and the realized improvements in efficiency and performance. The features of the propulsion system components, including energy storage, transaxle, electric motors and power electronics, on-board charging, and engine are described and compared with the previous generation.
Technical Paper

Modeling of Human Response From Vehicle Performance Characteristics Using Artificial Neural Networks

This study investigates a methodology in which the general public's subjective interpretation of vehicle handling and performance can be predicted. Several vehicle handling measurements were acquired, and associated metrics calculated, in a controlled setting. Human evaluators were then asked to drive and evaluate each vehicle in a winter driving school setting. Using the acquired data, multiple linear regression and artificial neural network (ANN) techniques were used to create and refine mathematical models of human subjective responses. It is shown that artificial neural networks, which have been trained with the sets of objective and subjective data, are both more accurate and more robust than multiple linear regression models created from the same data.
Journal Article

Estimation of Elemental Composition of Diesel Fuel Containing Biodiesel

Carbon, hydrogen and oxygen are major elements in vehicle fuels. Knowledge of fuels elemental composition is helpful in addressing its performance characteristics. Carbon, hydrogen and oxygen composition is an important parameter in engine calibration affecting vehicle performance, emissions and fuel economy. Biodiesel, a fuel comprised of mono-alkyl esters of long-chain fatty acids also known as Fatty Acid Methyl Esters(FAME), derived from vegetable oils or animal fats, has become an important commercial marketplace automotive fuel in the United States (US) and around the world over last few years. FAME biodiesels have many chemical and physical property differences compared to conventional petroleum based diesel fuels. Also, the properties of biodiesel vary based on the feedstock chosen for biodiesel production. One of the key differences between petroleum diesel fuels and biodiesel is the oxygen content.
Technical Paper

Eliminating Caliper Piston Knock Back In High Performance Vehicles

Powerful vehicles that are adequately designed to corner at high speeds can generate very high lateral forces at tire-road interface. These forces are counter balanced by chassis, suspension and brake components allowing the vehicle to confidently maneuver around a corner. Although these components may not damage under such high cornering loads, elastic deflections can significantly alter a vehicles performance. One such phenomenon is increased brake pedal travel, to engage brakes, after severe cornering maneuvers. Authors of this paper have worked together to solve exactly this problem on a very powerful luxury segment car.
Technical Paper

Development of Evaluation Methods for Steering Loss of Assist

Loss of power steering assist (LoA) is viewed as a potential hazard in certain vehicle operational scenarios. Despite the importance of this steering failure mode, few published test protocols for the objective or subjective evaluation of vehicle performance in a loss of assist situation exist. The first part of this paper examines five of the key steering failure modes that can result in LoA and discusses why LoA persists as a key industry challenge. The second part analyzes the situational dynamics affecting vehicle controllability during a LoA event and proposes a subjective evaluation driving course that facilitates evaluations in various LoA scenarios. A corresponding objective test procedure and metric is also proposed. These evaluation methods support consistent performance evaluation of physical vehicles while also enabling the prediction of vehicle characteristics early in the vehicle development process (VDP).
Technical Paper

Comparative Analysis of Single and Combined Hybrid Electrically Variable Transmission Operating Modes

Electrically variable transmissions divide power between the electrical and mechanical paths using input, output, or compound split schemes. When combined with an electrical energy storage element such as a battery, these systems allow numerous fuel saving and performance benefits. This paper examines the design tradeoffs in each of the three topologies in order to balance fuel economy, system performance against requirements, and electrical component size. A general EVT analysis method is presented and used to study the fuel economy and performance sensitivity of the three configurations to motor, inverter, and battery constraints, and planetary gear ratios. To evaluate fuel economy, the three systems are assessed for each of the primary fuel economy mechanisms enabled by hybridization. To evaluate performance tradeoffs, system performance against typical vehicle performance design points is compared.
Technical Paper

A Response Surface Based Tool for Evaluating Vehicle Performance in the Pedestrian Leg Impact Test

An interactive tool for predicting the performance of vehicle designs in the pedestrian leg impact test has been developed. This tool allows users to modify the design of a vehicle front structure through the use of a graphical interface, and then evaluates the performance of the design with a response surface. This performance is displayed in the graphical interface, providing the user with nearly instantaneous feedback to his design changes. An example is shown that demonstrates how the tool can be used to help guide the user towards vehicle designs that are likely to improve performance. As part of the development of this tool, a simplified, parametric finite element model of the front structure of the vehicle was created. This vehicle model included eleven parameters that could be adjusted to change the structural dimensions and structural behavior of the model.