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Technical Paper

5th Generation Electronic Gas Injection Control System

The long time needed for the application and the money involved are some of the main obstacles preventing the CNG vehicles market penetration, costs are always too high and application time always too long compared with the relatively small volumes. Besides the activities to be carried out on the original engine control system to integrate the gas system are unwelcome by the OEM as they require a re-validation of already validated components/systems. This issue became more critical since the EOBD system has been installed into the vehicles as the extremely heavy validation activity are jeopardized by the gas system and the major part of the calibration/validation work shall be repeated. A new gas control system has been developed with the aims to achieve the best performances in terms of power, driveability, emissions, without any modifications on the OEM system, very short application time and costs.
Technical Paper

A BE Model for the Analysis of the Effects of Seats in the Passenger Compartment Acoustic Behaviour

The aim of this work is to validate a BE numerical methodology to calculate how the acoustic properties of seats can affect the acoustic behaviour of the passenger compartment of a vehicle. An analytical model, based on the Delany and Bazley approach, was implemented in order to simulate the acoustic impedance of the foam-fabric system. This model has been validated with absorption coefficient measurements on a certain number of foam-fabric combinations. The calculated impedance was used as input for a BEM analysis of the interior cavity of a trimmed vehicle. The measured impedance of trimming components as floor carpet, door panels and parcel shelf were included into the cavity model. The acoustic field due to a known source with and without seats was calculated, in the frequency range 20-400 Hz: the calculated FRFs are in good agreement with the measured ones.
Technical Paper

A Metal Hydride Mobile Air Conditioning System

This paper describes the development of an electrical compressor-driven air conditioning system for automotive applications. The system uses the thermal properties of reversible metal hydride alloys, which are retained within advanced-design hydride heat exchangers. Calculations on system performance predict high energy efficiency in a package of competitive size and cost. A proof-of-principle prototype has been constructed and bench tested. Measurements from initial tests confirm the excellent performance potential of this system. A study about on-board integration concludes that the system can be installed on a car and can provide all HVAC traditional functions.
Technical Paper

A New Methodology for Improving Accuracy of Structural Analysis of Car Body Parts

The Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is widely used in automotive industry for many applications, such as structural analysis, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), vibration behavior and acoustic properties, crashworthiness and, more recently, manufacturing process simulation. For all these FEA applications, accuracy is always a key issue. The analysis accuracy depends mainly on two factors: on one hand the FEA codes and on the other hand the definition of boundary conditions and material properties. Over the years, most FEA codes are well tested for accuracy through numerous benchmarks: therefore breakthroughs in further accuracy improvement from the aspect of FEA codes are difficult to achieve. On the other aspect, there is some room for FEA improvement by means of more accurate definition of material properties. In this paper, a new methodology for improving analysis accuracy by considering thickness variations of the component is proposed and validated using a structural body part.
Technical Paper

A Rapid Prototyping Methodology for the Decision Making Algorithms in Automotive Electronic Systems

The importance of the numerical simulation and testing techniques for the software specifications development of on-board automotive systems design is the paper main issue. In order to promote flexible and rapid procedures improving software specifications, new methodologies are necessary. The proposed procedure is based on the design, simulation, validation, software compiling and rapid prototyping algorithms concerning management strategies of automotive electronic systems. The new feature of this methodology is provided by the comparison between two prototyping environment outputs: rapid prototyping tool outputs represented by strategies running in DSpace® using powerful microprocessors and CPU outputs characterized by limited calculation resources of an almost real one.
Technical Paper

A/F Ratio Control with Sliding Mode Technique

This article describes an application of sliding mode techniques to the design of an air/fuel ratio control system for a 4-stroke engine, to minimize exhaust gas and emissions. This technique allows to achieve good control performance in terms of precision, robustness, and fast transient response. To support sliding mode control a second PI stage was added, based on the signal of a second oxygen sensor installed after the catalytic converter. Experimental results were better than those obtained with a conventional PI control, currently used on production applications. The new control algorithm (sliding mode based on the first oxygen sensor, and PI on the second) is very versatile because the approach chosen allows to calculate the parameters values for the ECU using computer simulation.
Technical Paper

Aluminum Foam Applications for Impact Energy Absorbing Structures

Aluminum foams properties, as energy absorbing materials, were experimentally studied. Having as objective the improvement of the vehicle crashworthiness, two different applications were considered. as a filler material for hollow components of the body frame; in this case the objective is to reinforce weak areas of the frame for a better control of the collapse during the crash; as a material to be employed for the manufacturing of energy absorbing structures for the crashworthiness improvement at low speed impact. Some prototypes were manufactured and tested in order to evaluate the potential benefits for both the applications. Good results obtained in both cases pointed out Al-foam as promising material for increasing the passive safety of the vehicle.
Technical Paper

Automotive Evaporator Performances Under Different Humidity Conditions

Environment and A/C loop conditions strongly affect automotive evaporator performance. The aim of the activity is to identify the parameters it depends on and its functional dependence. Several evaporators, differing in size and technology, are tested on a bench, simulating a wide range of working conditions. The evaporator efficiency is introduced in order to correctly evaluate performances. The functional dependences from air velocity and humidity (key parameters) are shown, and a methodology to characterise automotive evaporators is proposed.
Technical Paper

Customer Orientation in Advanced Vehicle Design

The attention to the perceived quality, e.g. the quality as it is evaluated by the final customer, is becoming more and more important for the car makers. The paper will describe how such aspects of handling and steering system feel may become manageable by an engineering process, through some fundamental steps: definition of measurable performance for the subjective aspects; identification of the target values for such aspects coherent with product positioning; deployment of such overall values generally fixed at vehicle level into functional requirements for the different subsystems and design specifications (sub targets level quantities). This new approach at car advanced design represents an evolution of the traditional one based on some general criteria and experienced designers; it has the aims of reducing time to market and guaranteeing a “customer oriented handwriting” in handling behaviour and steering feel.
Technical Paper

Customer Orientation: A Further Target in Brake System Design

The attention to the perceived quality, e.g. the quality as it is evaluated by the final customer, is becoming more and more important for the car makers. The paper describes how such aspects of braking system feel quality, joined with brake thermal constraints and interactions with other vehicle subsystems, such as suspensions, tyres and rims, can become manageable by an engineering process. In order to do that experienced designers define: longitudinal brake performance, stability limits in braking in a turn by comparison with referenced cars; brake thermal constraints; brake system constraints due to interactions with other vehicle subsystems. For perceived quality, on the other hand, it's necessary to take a different kind of approach in order to define targets.
Technical Paper

Customer Oriented Vehicle Dynamics Assessment for Autonomous Driving in Highway

Autonomous Driving is one of the main subjects of academic research and one important trend in the automotive industry. With the advent of self-driving vehicles, the interest around trajectory planning raises, in particular when a customer-oriented analysis is performed, since more and more the carmakers will have to pay attention to the handling comfort. With that in mind, an experimental approach is proposed to assess the main characteristics of human driving and gain knowledge to enhance quality of autonomous vehicles. Focusing on overtaking maneuvers in a highway environment, four comfort indicators are proposed aiming to capture the key aspects of the chosen paths of a heterogeneous cohort. The analysis of the distribution of these indicators (peak to peak lateral acceleration, RMS lateral acceleration, Smoothness and Jerk) allowed the definition of a human drive profile.
Journal Article

Development of a High Performance Natural Gas Engine with Direct Gas Injection and Variable Valve Actuation

Natural gas is a promising alternative fuel for internal combustion engine application due to its low carbon content and high knock resistance. Performance of natural gas engines is further improved if direct injection, high turbocharger boost level, and variable valve actuation (VVA) are adopted. Also, relevant efficiency benefits can be obtained through downsizing. However, mixture quality resulting from direct gas injection has proven to be problematic. This work aims at developing a mono-fuel small-displacement turbocharged compressed natural gas engine with side-mounted direct injector and advanced VVA system. An injector configuration was designed in order to enhance the overall engine tumble and thus overcome low penetration.
Technical Paper

ECOCOST: A Software Tool That Makes Life Cycle Assessment Evaluations Available for the Business Decision Makers

The complexity of environmental problem is characterised by the typical difficulty to find an unique quantitative measure for “being green”. Environmental damage cannot easily be compared with parameters such as cost or time that are “hard” metrics. However, techniques like Life Cycle Assessment should make it possible comparing products based on the basis of their environmental profile. In this study a modelled approach that allows to integrate Life Cycle Assessment considerations within multi-criteria analysis methodology is described: this integration is clearly exemplified by a simple software tool called ECOCOST. ECOCOST represents an effort to join different field of evaluation, other than environmental, to the Life Cycle Assessment: then environmental results emerged from LCA can be matched with other kind of evaluation, economical and technical in particular.
Technical Paper

Engine Stability Sensor

It has been proved from many studies and applications that, to improve fuel economy, is necessary to operate near lean limit without exceeding it, to avoid unstable engine running and resulting car surging. On this purpose, besides a precise and flexible control system, an engine stability sensor, to adopt closed loop control strategies, is needed. A research has been carried out on different measurement methodologies with the aim of developing a reliable and low cost stability sensor to be used on production cars. For this reason sensors yet applied in automotive field, like accelerometer and pick-up or oriented to this application, like ring pressure sensors, have been used. As basis of comparison the cyclic dispersion,measured with a pressure sensor inside the combustion chamber, has been considered.
Technical Paper

Evaluation Criteria for AWD Vehicles System Analysis

Handling behaviour is a very important aspect of modern cars, which need to reach high levels of lateral acceleration maintaining good stability and driveability. The presence of an AWD powertrain changes the response of the vehicle and then it is very important to qualify the car behavior in terms of perceived performances through objective indexes. The paper presents the development of evaluation criteria for AWD vehicles objective assessment; simulation tools and SW standard procedure has been optimised for AWD performances virtual evaluation and different architectures (locking, self-locking, visco-coupling, active differentials) are compared in terms of longitudinal, lateral and cross-coupling dynamics performances. Through the proposed methods it is possible to make vehicle system analysis using simulation model and standard procedures to classify different AWD architectures.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigation of Fuel Consumption, Exhaust Emissions and Heat Release of a Small-Displacement Turbocharged CNG Engine

An experimental investigation of fuel consumption, exhaust emissions and heat release was performed on a prototype 1.2 liter 4 cylinder turbocharged CNG engine, which has been specifically developed and optimized in order to fully exploit natural gas potential. More specifically, the combination of a high CR of 10.1:1 and a Garrett high-performance turbocharger featuring selectable levels of boost produced a favorable efficiency map, with peak values exceeding 35%. The experimental tests were carried out in order to assess the engine performance improvement attainable through turbocharging and to define the best control strategies for this latter. The investigation included ample variations of engine speed and load, RAFR as well as trade-offs between boost level and throttle position. At each test point, in-cylinder pressure, fuel consumption and ‘engine-out’ pollutant emissions, including methane unburned hydrocarbons concentration, were measured.
Technical Paper

Fuzzy Logic Employed in an Autonomous ICC Vehicle

The AICC is an assisting system for controlling relative speed and distance between two vehicles in the same lane. The AICC system may be considered as an extension of a traditional cruise control, not only keeping a fixed speed of the vehicle, but correcting it also to that of a slower one ahead. The main objective of this paper is to illustrate the design of the intelligent cruise control system involving the automatic control of throttle position and braking systems. There is much evidence nowadays that fuzzy approaches to real problems, where the linear control theory fails or can't provide an available and robust design solution, are often the best alternative to more familiar schemes.
Technical Paper

H-Infinity Control for Lancia Thema Full Active Suspension System

This paper describes an application of the H∞ optimal control theory to the design of a full-active suspension system for an experimental Lancia Thema car. There are two important things to be noted about this work. First the controller has been implemented on a real car and validated with experimental results; then it is proposed that a general design-implementation methodology for H∞ regulators can greatly reduce time and effort, and can become a valid alternative to the “classical” control techniques.
Technical Paper

Hybrid pollutants emissions and driving experimental results

One of the way for improving environmental performances of car propulsion system is the adoption of hybrid systems where the internal combustion engine (ICE) is coupled or temporary overtaken by an electric motor. The reference prototype of this article is the FIAT Multipla Hybrid where are possible three functional modes: Pure Electric mode, Serial Hybrid and Parallel Hybrid. Particularly it was approached the torque splitting algorithm applied to the parallel hybrid one; the work was first tested in simulation, after implemented in the electronic control units and finally tested on the field using the test bench of the 10 hybrid vehicles that belongs to the Atena Project [1].
Technical Paper

Idle Speed Control with H-Infinity Technique

This paper describes an application of the H-infinity optimal control theory to the design of an engine idle speed electronic regulator. This technique, working directly on multi-input multi-output systems, allows to achieve optimal performances, good disturbances rejection and robustness to parametric variation of the plant. Compared to the current heuristic techniques for the tuning of the control parameters, the following procedure offers the opportunities to become completely automatic, reducing in this way time and efforts. The experimental results, finally, are better than those obtained by conventional P.I.D. regulators and equivalent of an optimal L.Q.I, ones.