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Driver-in-the-loop simulations with parametric car models

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The dynamical analysis of all kinds of vehicles is a well-established approach based on highly developed software tools for modelling, simulation and animation of the resulting motions. For the assessment of road vehicles, the handling performance is an essential feature, and therefore the aim of this project is to complement car models with a human driver who provides input signals (steering, throttle and brake) for lateral and longitudinal vehicle behaviour. The construction of the vehicle model, its subsystems and the connection between the human driver and the simulation environment is described in this paper. The target is to develop a driving simulator light in size, fully parametric, open source and extremely portable for different platforms: to achieve it the main software used is MATLAB/SIMULINK©.1 The dynamics of the closed-loop system can be systematically investigated and the parameters of the model serve as design variables for optimisation purposes. Moreover, the dynamical behaviour of a human driver may be identified and parameters may be adapted resulting in personal car dynamics. The proposed simulator is a cost-efficient tool for different kinds of analysis focusing the attention on peculiar aspects of the vehicle and driver behaviour.

Keywords: MATLAB; SIMULINK; driver testing; multibody dynamics; real-time simulation; vehicle model

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Mechanics, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy 2: Institute of Engineering and Computational Mechanics, University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany

Publication date: September 1, 2008


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