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Journal Article

Improvement of Ride Comfort by Unsprung Negative Skyhook Damper Control Using In-Wheel Motors

Vehicles equipped with in-wheel motors (IWMs) are capable of independent control of the driving force at each wheel. These vehicles can also control the motion of the sprung mass by driving force distribution using the suspension reaction force generated by IWM drive. However, one disadvantage of IWMs is an increase in unsprung mass. This has the effect of increasing vibrations in the 4 to 8 Hz range, which is reported to be uncomfortable to vehicle occupants, thereby reducing ride comfort. This research aimed to improve ride comfort through driving force control. Skyhook damper control is a typical ride comfort control method. Although this control is generally capable of reducing vibration around the resonance frequency of the sprung mass, it also has the trade-off effect of worsening vibration in the targeted mid-frequency 4 to 8 Hz range. This research aimed to improve mid-frequency vibration by identifying the cause of this adverse effect through the equations of motion.
Technical Paper

IGBT Gate Control Methods to Reduce Electrical Power Losses of Hybrid Vehicles

Reducing the loss of the power control unit (PCU) in a hybrid vehicle (HV) is an important part of improving HV fuel efficiency. Furthermore the loss of power devices (insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) and diodes) used in the PCU must be reduced since this amounts to approximately 20% of the total electrical loss in an HV. One of the issues for reducing loss is the trade-off relationship with reducing voltage surge. To restrict voltage surge, it is necessary to slow down the switching speed of the IGBT. In contrast, the loss reduction requires the high speed switching. One widely known method to improve this trade-off relationship is to increase the gate voltage in two stages. However, accurate and high-speed operation of the IGBT gate control circuit is difficult to accomplish. This research clarifies a better condition of the two-stage control and designed a circuit that improves this trade-off relationship by increasing the speed of feedback control.
Technical Paper

Experimental Study of Lateral Acceleration Feedback Control with Steer-by-Wire System

Steer-by-wire is a system that can independently control steering-wheel torque and vehicle-wheel steering angle. The object of this research was to realize a vehicle that can be driven according to driver's intention in any situation, such as in a crosswind, and rutted road surface. Using a steer-by-wire system, disturbance torque from the vehicle-wheels is not transmitted to the driver, signifying that the steering-wheel angle always indicates driver intention. Also, since unexpected feelings by active steering controls are reduced, feedback controls for the target vehicle behavior are easily realized. This research achieved good characteristics from steering-wheel angle to lateral acceleration by studying response characteristics using a vehicle equipped to measure lateral acceleration feedback.
Technical Paper

Efficient Direct Yaw Moment Control during Acceleration and Deceleration while Turning (First Report)

The research described in this paper aimed to study the cornering resistance and dissipation power on the tire contact patch, and to develop an efficient direct yaw moment control (DYC) during acceleration and deceleration while turning. A previously reported method [1], which formulates the cornering resistance in steady-state cornering, was extended to so-called quasi steady-state cornering that includes acceleration and deceleration while turning. Simulations revealed that the direct yaw moment reduces the dissipation power due to the load shift between the front and rear wheels. In addition, the optimum direct yaw moment cancels out the understeer augmented by acceleration. In contrast, anti-direct yaw moment optimizes the dissipation power during decelerating to maximize kinetic energy recovery. The optimization method proved that the optimum direct yaw moment can be achieved by equalizing the slip vectors of all the wheels.
Technical Paper

Efficient Direct Yaw Moment Control during Acceleration and Deceleration While Turning (Second Report)

Electric vehicles (EVs) are attracting attention due to growing awareness of environmental issues such as fossil fuel depletion and global warming. In particular, a wide range of research has examined how direct yaw moment controls (DYCs) can enhance the handling performance of EVs equipped with multiple in-wheel motors (IWMs) or the like. Recently, this research has focused on reducing energy consumption through driving force distribution control. The first report proposed a method to minimize energy consumption through an efficient DYC for extending the cruising range of a vehicle installed with four IWMs, and described the vehicle behavior with this control. Since motors allow high design flexibility, EVs can be developed with a variety of drive systems. For this reason, various driving force distribution control methods can be considered based on the adopted system.
Technical Paper

Development of a New Breath Alcohol Detector without Mouthpiece to Prevent Drunk Driving

Breath alcohol interlock systems are used in Europe and the U.S. for drunk driving offenders, and a certain effect has been revealed in the prevention of drunk driving. Nevertheless, problems remain to be solved with commercialized detectors, i.e., a person taking the breath alcohol test must strongly expire to the alcohol detector through a mouthpiece for every test, more over the determination of the breath alcohol concentration requires more than 5 seconds. The goal of this research is to develop a device that functions suitable and unobtrusive enough as the interlock system. For this purpose, a new alcohol detector, which does not require a long and hard blowing to the detector through a mouthpiece, has been investigated. In this paper, as a tool available on board, a contact free alcohol detector for the prevention of drunk driving has been developed.
Technical Paper

Development of Gasoline Injector Cleaner for Port Fuel Injection and Direct Injection

Port fuel injection (PFI) injector and direct fuel injection (DI) injector clogging from deposits caused by poor fuel quality, is a concern in emerging countries. Then DI injector deposits are sometimes cleaned by injector cleaners in such situation. However deposit cleaners for PFI injectors have not been developed, because of the lack of research of PFI injector deposits. Through chemical analysis, this study showed them to be water-soluble deposits. Subsequently success was achieved in developing a new gasoline injector cleaner applicable to injector deposits in both types of injectors, through optimization of a surface active agent.
Technical Paper

Development of Combustion Behavior Analysis Techniques in the Ultra High Engine Speed Range

In order to clarify the combustion behavior in the ultra high engine speed range, a new technique has been developed. This technique is composed of ionization current detection and flame observation, and is highly heat-resistant, vibration-resistant, and has a quick response. From analyzing the flame front propagation in the high-speed research engine, it was found that the flame propagated throughout the entire cylinder over almost the same crank angle period irrespective of engine speed introduction.
Technical Paper

Design Concept and Advantages of Steer-by-Wire System

Because of recent advances in steering control technology, steer-by-wire systems have continued to become more realistic. The principal issue for these steer-by-wire systems is considered to be promoting reliability through the construction of a design concept that can be utilized appropriately by drivers. This paper first describes the flow between the concept and system structure, and proposes a steer-by-wire system with a mechanical backup mechanism as one possibility. This paper also describes an investigation into its potential advantages using an experimental vehicle installed with the proposed system structure. The potential advantages of steer-by-wire are improved vehicle driving performance, vehicle maneuverability, and the feasibility of innovative packaging and design. In order to make improved maneuverability and design innovations compatible, it is critical to achieve steering characteristics that require little maneuvering angle.
Journal Article

Benefit Estimation of a Lane Departure Warning System using ASSTREET

It is known that the collisions caused by lane departure events account for range of percentages among the countries studied. To help prevent such collisions, the Lane Departure Warning (LDW) system has started to be introduced in production vehicles, but there is little research on its benefits and limitations so far. In this paper we performed an in-depth analysis of the collisions and driver-related essential variables for the lane-departure collision scenarios and demonstrated the benefit estimation process. The benefit of the LDW system is estimated by comparing lane departure events when the vehicle has no LDW, and how they change with the addition of LDW. The event without LDW was modeled in 5 phases: (1) before departure, (2) starting of the departure, (3) departed the lane, (4) at the impact with an object, and, (5) after the impact. “An extensive analysis was conducted of traffic crash data compiled by the Institute for Traffic Accident Research and Data Analysis (ITARDA).
Technical Paper

Bench Testing Validation of Wireless Power Transfer for electric and hybrid vehicles up to 11kW Based on SAE J2954

Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) is presently being applied to consumer electronics in the low-power range and is planned to be commercialized in the high-power range for plug-in and electric vehicles in the near future. There are, however, technology challenges remaining before widespread implementation of high-power WPT will occur. The SAE Vehicle Wireless Power and Alignment Taskforce published the Recommended Practice J2954 to help harmonize the first phase of high-power WPT technology development. SAE J2954 adopts a performance-based approach to standardizing WPT by specifying ground and assembly coils to be used in a test stand (per Z-class) to validate performance, interoperability and safety. The main goal of this SAE J2954 bench testing campaign was to prove interoperability between WPT systems utilizing different coil magnetic topologies for SAE J2954.
Technical Paper

Automatic Transmission Control Based on Estimation of Sporty Driving Intention

The purpose of this research is to develop an automatic shift control method that emulates an experienced driver's manual shift maneuver which enhances driving performance during sporty driving. Driver control maneuvers and vehicle behavior were observed throughout the process of braking, cornering, and accelerating out of a corner on a winding test track. Close correlations were found between driving maneuvers, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, and the selected engine speed. Based on the analysis, an index is proposed for estimating the intention of the driver to drive in a sporty manner. This index consists of the magnitude of acceleration in a friction circle and the maximum longitudinal acceleration restricted by the performance of the power train. An automatic transmission control based on the estimated driving intention was then developed to achieve the necessary and sufficient available force.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Degradation Mechanism of Lead-Free Materials

The use of lead-free (Pb-free) solder and plating in onboard electronic components has accelerated rapidly in recent years, but solutions have yet to be found for the issues of whisker generation in tin (Sn) plating and crack initiation in Pb-free solder, despite widespread research efforts. Analysis of the whisker generation mechanism has focused on internal energy levels and crystal orientation, and analysis of the crack initiation mechanism in Pb-free solder has examined changes in the grain boundaries of Sn crystals.