Quantitative High Speed Stability Assessment of a Sports Utility Vehicle and Classification of Wind Gust Profiles
Journal article, 2020
The automotive trends of vehicles with lower aerodynamic drag and more powerful drivetrains have caused increasing concern regarding stability issues at high speeds, since more streamlined bodies show greater sensitivity to crosswinds. This is especially pronounced for high vehicles, such as sports utility vehicles. Besides, the competitiveness in the automotive industry requires faster development times and, thus, a need to evaluate the high speed stability performance in an early design phase, preferable using simulation tools. The usefulness of these simulation tools partly relies on realistic boundary conditions for the wind and quantitative measures for assessing stability without the subjective evaluation of experienced drivers. This study employs an on-road experimental measurements setup to define relevant wind conditions and to find an objective methodology to evaluate high speed stability. The paper focuses on the events in proximity to the drivers’ subjective triggers of instability. Wind direction and magnitude, vehicle motion response, along with the subjective event triggering were measured at different conditions of the natural wind. A statistical approach was utilized to analyze the correlation between the vehicle response and subjective triggers together with the wind conditions. A correlation was established between the subjective triggers and a rapid change in lateral acceleration and yaw velocity response. The paper also proposes a set of four crosswind gust profiles of interest for driving stability, combining results from previous research and the experimental data of the natural wind obtained in this study. These findings can be used as objective measures for virtually assessing stability performance and as realistic boundary conditions for simulating wind gusts.