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Research Papers

Implementation of Trailer Steering Control on a Multi-Unit Vehicle at High Speeds

[+] Author and Article Information
Richard Roebuck, Andrew Odhams

Cambridge University Engineering Department,
Trumpington Street,
Cambridge CB2 1PZ, UK

Kristoffer Tagesson

Volvo Group Trucks Technology,
Dept BF72991, AB4S,
Göteborg SE-405 08, Sweden

Caizhen Cheng

Cambridge University Engineering Department,
Trumpington Street,
Cambridge CB2 1PZ, UK

David Cebon

Cambridge University Engineering Department,
Trumpington Street,
Cambridge CB2 1PZ, UK
e-mail: dc@eng.cam.ac.uk

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Dynamic Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF DYNAMIC SYSTEMS, MEASUREMENT, AND CONTROL. Manuscript received April 11, 2013; final manuscript received October 21, 2013; published online December 16, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Shankar Coimbatore Subramanian.

J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control 136(2), 021016 (Dec 16, 2013) (14 pages) Paper No: DS-13-1158; doi: 10.1115/1.4025815 History: Received April 11, 2013; Revised October 21, 2013

A high-speed path-following controller for long combination vehicles (LCVs) was designed and implemented on a test vehicle consisting of a rigid truck towing a dolly and a semitrailer. The vehicle was driven through a 3.5 m wide lane change maneuver at 80 km/h. The axles of the dolly and trailer were steered actively by electrically-controlled hydraulic actuators. Substantial performance benefits were recorded compared with the unsteered vehicle. For the best controller weightings, performance improvements relative to unsteered case were: lateral tracking error 75% reduction, rearward amplification (RA) of lateral acceleration 18% reduction, and RA of yaw rate 37% reduction. This represents a substantial improvement in stability margins. The system was found to work well in conjunction with the braking-based stability control system of the towing vehicle with no negative interaction effects being observed. In all cases, the stability control system and the steering system improved the yaw stability of the combination.

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References

Figures

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Fig. 1

Diagram showing the aim of the path following strategy, aiming to minimize the difference between the paths of the vehicle's different units

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Fig. 2

Yaw-model vehicle-fixed coordinates systems for the vehicle units

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Fig. 3

(a) Lateral deviations of the path of the dolly unit's lead point (AP1) from a fixed straight line in the GCS, and the path tracking error (e2) of the dolly unit's follow point (AP2). (b) Lateral deviations of the path of the trailer unit's lead point (AP2) from a fixed straight line in the GCS, and the path tracking error (e3) of the trailer unit's follow point (RE).

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Fig. 4

Schematic diagram showing high-level signal flows

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Fig. 5

The Volvo test truck (rigid unit) and the CVDC actively steered dolly and semitrailer. Active rear steering hardware is present on the five rearmost axles.

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Fig. 6

A computer generated image showing details of the experimental hardware used to enable steering of the axles on the dolly unit of the vehicle shown in Figure 5 (similar is used on the axles of the trailer unit). The “four-bar” steering mechanism pivots and links have been overlaid, and the actuator has been outlined to highlight the kinematic arrangement of the mechanism.

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Fig. 7

Details of the sensors, actuators, and controllers on the test vehicle

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Fig. 8

Plot showing an example of the Kalman Filter tuning exercise results

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Fig. 9

Plots showing desired path of vehicle and actual path of rigid-dolly hitch and rear of trailer. (a) Unsteered case, (b) Controller weighting factors q2/r2 and q3/r3 set to 0.05, (c) Controller weighting factors q2/r2 and q3/r3 set to 0.10, and (d) Controller weighting factors q2/r2 and q3/r3 set to 0.20.

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Fig. 10

Plots showing path error of trailer unit rear relative to path of hitch point on the rigid truck, as a function of distance along the road

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Fig. 11

Plots showing demand steer angles of the various dolly and trailer steered axles as a function of distance along the road. (a) Controller weighting factors q2/r2 and q3/r3 set to 0.05 and (b) Controller weighting factors q2/r2 and q3/r3 set to 0.20.

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Fig. 12

Plots showing lateral acceleration of each vehicle unit during the single lane change maneuver for the cases below. RAL values are RA values: peak trailer lateral acceleration magnitude divided by peak rigid lateral acceleration magnitude. (a) Unsteered case, (b) Controller weighting factors q2/r2 and q3/r3 set to 0.05, (c) Controller weighting factors q2/r2 and q3/r3 set to 0.10, and (d) Controller weighting factors q2/r2 and q3/r3 set to 0.20.

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Fig. 13

Plots showing yaw rate of each vehicle unit during the single lane change manoeuver for the cases below. RAY values are RA values: peak trailer yaw rate magnitude divided by peak rigid yaw rate magnitude. (a) Unsteered case, (b) Controller weighting factors q2/r2 and q3/r3 set to 0.05, (c) Controller weighting factors q2/r2 and q3/r3 set to 0.10, and (d) Controller weighting factors q2/r2 and q3/r3 set to 0.20.

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Fig. 14

Plots showing desired path of vehicle and actual path of rigid-dolly hitch and rear of trailer, for the following cases: (a) Unsteered case. Rigid unit's stability system turned off, (b) Unsteered case. Rigid unit's stability system turned on, (c) Steering on (controller weighting factors q2/r2 and q3/r3 set to 0.05). Rigid unit's stability system turned off, and (d) Steering on (controller weighting factors q2/r2 and q3/r3 set to 0.05). Rigid unit's stability system turned on.

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Fig. 15

Plots showing path error of trailer unit rear relative to path of rigid-dolly hitch

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Fig. 16

Plots showing lateral acceleration of each vehicle unit during the single lane change maneuver for the cases below. RAL values are RA values: peak trailer lateral acceleration magnitude divided by peak rigid lateral acceleration magnitude. (a) Unsteered case. Rigid unit's stability system turned off, (b) Unsteered case. Rigid unit's stability system turned on, (c) Steering on (controller weighting factors q2/r2 and q3/r3 set to 0.05). Rigid unit's stability system turned off, and (d) Steering on (controller weighting factors q2/r2 and q3/r3 set to 0.05). Rigid unit's stability system turned on.

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Fig. 17

Plots showing yaw rate of each vehicle unit during the single lane change maneuver for the cases below. RAY values are RA values: peak trailer yaw rate magnitude divided by peak rigid yaw rate magnitude. (a) Unsteered case. Rigid unit's stability system turned off, (b) Unsteered case. Rigid unit's stability system turned on, (c) Steering on (controller weighting factors q2/r2 and q3/r3 set to 0.05). Rigid unit's stability system turned off, and (d) Steering on (controller weighting factors q2/r2 and q3/r3 set to 0.05). Rigid unit's stability system turned on.

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