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The Applicability of Hybrid Control to a Small Off-Road Vehicle Without a Differential

[+] Author Affiliations
Anria Strydom, P. Schalk Els

University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Paper No. DETC2014-34344, pp. V003T01A017; 9 pages
  • ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3: 16th International Conference on Advanced Vehicle Technologies; 11th International Conference on Design Education; 7th Frontiers in Biomedical Devices
  • Buffalo, New York, USA, August 17–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4634-6
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


The use of controllable semi-active damping is considered by the vehicle dynamics community to be a cost effective and fail-safe method to reduce the ride comfort and handling tradeoff of a vehicle. This paper investigates the semi-active control of a suspension system for a 4-wheeled single seated off-road vehicle for both ride comfort and handling. The test vehicle is distinct with several characteristics that are not commonly observed on normal vehicles or addressed in existing literature. For instance, the absence of a differential in the driveline causes drivability and handling issues that are aggravated by increased damping. The suspension system contains controllable dampers and passive hydro-pneumatic spring-damper units. Passive damping is not entirely eliminated from the suspension, but the effect of various passive damping factors on the performance of the suspension is also investigated. Skyhook and groundhook control is implemented on a nonlinear, three-dimensional, 12 degrees of freedom simulation model to determine the achievable improvement in ride comfort and handling ability of the test vehicle. Simulation results show that reduced passive damping is capable of improving both the ride comfort and maneuverability of the test vehicle.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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