Driver-centred Motion Control of Heavy Trucks
Doktorsavhandling, 2017

Traffic accidents constitute one of the leading global causes of death. Deadly traffic accidents occur, even in countries that have implemented far-reaching countermeasures, at a rate that cannot be tolerated. Improved safety of heavy trucks is an important remedy, as these vehicles are involved in a large part of all fatal accidents. Human error forms the leading cause of these accidents. Yet, the human ability to handle unstructured elements is unparalleled. The focus of this thesis is to develop a method for controlling the longitudinal and directional motion of the truck combination. The method combines the strength in human flexibility and a computer's ability to act fast in structured situations. Furthermore, the method is derived from observations of how drivers behave in normal and critical situations. This approach is defined as driver-centred motion control. The underlying theory of how drivers behave is based on prior art and two additional studies. In a first study the role of the dimensions of the vehicle is analysed. Furthermore, theories about how steering wheel torque should scale as vehicle properties change are established in more detail. The role of steering wheel size is one such aspect. In a second study the behaviour of the driver is analysed when the vehicle is decelerating and at the same time is exposed to a yaw disturbance. This naturally occurs when braking on split friction, after a front tyre blow out, or when differential braking is applied. The most important common conclusions drawn from these studies are the following. Steering wheel torque can be used as a means of changing driver behaviour. Yet, this requires that the action of the torque coincides with the cognitive objectives of the driver. A consequence of this is that the applied torque must change slowly in order to have a potential effect on the motion. Differential braking proves to be a much more effective approach when fast directional changes are required. This calls for a combination of differential braking and slowly varying steering wheel torque guidance, which is how the developed method operates. The control method has been implemented and evaluated in three studies. The first study was carried out in a moving base driving simulator, involving 39 professional truck drivers, where an oncoming collision between a car and a truck combination was staged. Half of the subjects driving the truck were not given any support. This resulted in a 100% crash rate. The other half were supported by the developed controller in order to initiate a steering avoidance manoeuvre. This reduced the crash rate by 78%. In a second study directional stability control was tested on a frozen lake where the developed controller was compared to a standard stability control system. Several manoeuvres were completed. The deviation from the intended course was reduced in all cases. A more balanced combination of braking and steering forces has been identified as one of the underlying factors. In a third study, the ability of the method to handle varying levels of driver attention during split friction braking was demonstrated in a series of simulations.

Driver behaviour

active safety

torque feedback

heavy trucks

motion coordination

steering by braking

oncoming collision

electronic stability control

active steering

RunAn, Chalmersplatsen 1
Opponent: Dr-Ing. Falk Hecker, Vice President Technology Automated Driving Systems Knorr-Bremse SfN GmbH, Germany


Kristoffer K D Tagesson

Chalmers, Tillämpad mekanik

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Övrigt konferensbidrag

Driver response at tyre blow-out in heavy vehicles & the importance of scrub radius

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Combining Coordination of Motion Actuators with Driver Steering Interaction

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Advanced emergency braking under split friction conditions and the influence of a destabilising steering wheel torque

Vehicle System Dynamics,; Vol. 55(2017)p. 970-994

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Heavy trucks are involved in a large proportion of all accidents globally. Human error is the primary cause of these accidents. Computers are superior to man when it comes to well-structured repetitive tasks. Yet, humans are in many situations irreplaceable because of our extraordinary ability to adapt to new conditions. Therefore this thesis presents a new method to control the motion of the truck; where human flexibility can be combined with the speed and reliability of computers. The method is derived from observations of how humans behave in normal and critical situations, as well as from dynamical properties of a truck. The method is furthermore demonstrated in three applications, all showing successful results: i) oncoming collision avoidance tested in a driving simulator, ii) directional stability control tested with a truck on a frozen lake, and iii) directional stability control during emergency braking, tested in computer simulation.





Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 4216



RunAn, Chalmersplatsen 1

Opponent: Dr-Ing. Falk Hecker, Vice President Technology Automated Driving Systems Knorr-Bremse SfN GmbH, Germany

Mer information