An Integrated Design Method for Articulated Heavy Vehicles with Active Trailer Steering Systems
Journal article, 2010
This paper presents an integrated design method for active trailer steering (ATS) systems of articulated heavy vehicles (AHVs). Of all contradictory design goals of AHVs, two of them, i.e. path-following at low speeds and lateral stability at high speeds, may be the most fundamental and important, which have been bothering vehicle designers and researchers. To tackle this problem, a new design synthesis approach is proposed: with design optimization techniques, the active design variables of ATS systems and passive design variables of trailers can be optimized simultaneously; the ATS controller derived from this approach has two operational modes, one for improving lateral stability at high speeds and the other for enhancing path-following at low speeds. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach, it is applied to the design of an ATS system for an AHV with a tractor and a full trailer. Simulation results illustrate that compared with the baseline vehicle, the one derived from the design synthesis approach decreases low-speed off-tracking by 35.2% and reduces high-speed rearward amplification ratio by 30.0%. The proposed approach may be used for identifying desired design variables and predicting performance envelopes in the early design stages of AHVs with ATS systems.