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Vehicle Dynamics and Control During Abnormal Driving

Achieving crash/accident avoidance or active safety for passenger vehicles has been refocused at NHTSA and the automotive industry. These active safety systems are electronically controlled, and include driver-assistance software and hardware, to prevent the vehicle from getting into trouble (e.g., skidding, tumbling, crashing, etc). The objective of this research project is to build on the existing state of knowledge from the aerospace control community (that has dealt with “fly-by-wire”, "directional control" and “envelope protection” problems since its inception), as well as on our own previous experience in the analysis of the dynamics and the optimal control of wheeled vehicles (especially the characterization of tire friction forces, and vehicle attitude and directional control) in order to develop new control methodologies for achieving vehicle performance that mimics the way expert humans drivers react during emergencies.


This project is sponsored by Ford Motor Co.

Selected Publications


The ABS (left) prohibits wheel lockup during braking, allowing thus the driver to maintain directional control of the vehicle. The ESP system (right) is a yaw control system. It applies independent braking to the four wheels in order to generate the required moments


The increase in single-vehicle accidents involving ABS vehicles may be due to the wrong response by the driver. Since ABS maintains directional control even during hard braking, sudden or extreme steering by the driver may result in the vehicle driving off the road (left). A properly designed active control safety system will intervene, momentarily take over control of the vehicle, and correct the driver's command so as to maintain/recover control even under the most severe maneuvering (right).


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