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# Dynamics of four-wheel-steering vehicles

## K. N. Spentzas, I. Alkhazali, M. Demic

Abstract In this paper we present an optimised 3 degrees-
of-freedom non-linear dynamic model of a four-wheel-
steering (4WS) vehicle. As variables, we retain the lateral
velocity V, the rolling velocity p and yaw velocity r. The
front steer angle d
f
and rear steer angle d
r
are considered
to be linear functions of the steering wheel angle h
s
and of
dh
s
=dt, the proportionality parameters being k
1f
, k
2f
for d
f
and k
1r
, k
2r
for d
r
. The parameters k
1f
, k
2f
, k
1r
, k
2r
are
optimised by use of the BOX mathematical algorithm. In a
rst optimisation loop we minimise the sideslip angle b of
the vehicle and in a second optimisation loop we assure,
that the resultant (taken in the centre of gravity of the
vehicle) of all the transversal forces F
y
applied on the
wheels of the vehicle (reaction forces contained in the road
plane), give a component F
yx
along the longitudinal axis of
the vehicle, that takes a non negative value. This assures,
that the motor of the vehicle will not waste fuel to over-
come resistance forces originating from the steering
system of the vehicle. A numerical application is also
presented for a 4WS vehicle negotiating a curve at con-
stant velocity. The results are compared to those obtained
by two models frequently used in the literature. The
comparison testies on the superiority of our model for
the application presented here.
Zusammenfassung In diesem Beitrag wird ein optimiertes
Fahrzeuges mit 3 Freiheitsgraden prasentiert. Als Variable
wird die Seitenwindgeschwindigkeit V, die Nicken-
winkelgeschwindigkeit p und die Gierenwinkelgeschwin-
digkeit r beibehalten. Der Vorderradeinschlagwinkel d
f
r
werden als lineare
s
und dh
s
=dt, ange-
nommen, mit Proportionalitatsparameter k
1f
, k
2f
fur d
f
und k
1r
, k
2r
fur d
r
. Die Parameter k
1f
, k
2f
, k
1r
, k
2r
sind fur
den mathematischen Algorithmus BOX optimiert. In einer
ersten Optimierungsschleife wird der Seitenrutschwinkel b
minimiert und in einer zweiten Optimierungsschleife wird
gesichert, die Resultierende (am Schwerpunkt des Fahr-
zeuges angenommen), aller auf den Fahrzeugradern wir-
kenden Querkraften F
y
(Reaktionskrafte sind in der
Straenebene enthalten) eine Komponente F
yx
entlang der
Fahrzeuglangsachse ergeben, die keinen negativen Wert
annimmt. Damit wird gewahrleistet, das der Fahrzeug-
motor nicht Kraftstoff verschwendet, um die Wider-
standskrafte des Fahrzeuglenksystems zu uberwinden.
Eine numerische Applikation fur ein Fahrzeug, das eine
Kurve mit konstanter Geschwindigkeit fahrt, wird pra-
sentiert. Die Resultate werden mit zwei Modellen vergli-
chen, die haug in der Literatur benutzt werden. Der
Vergleich bezeugt die U

## berlegenheit unseres Modells fur

die hier prasentierte Applikation.
List of symbols
a; b distance of the front and rear axle to the centre
of gravity of the sprung mass (absolute value)
A
x
, A
y
longitudinal and lateral acceleration/decelera-
tion respectively
C
f
, C
r
aligning stiffness of a single front and of a single
rear wheel respectively
D
roll
total roll damping of the suspension
F
kj
force acting along the k direction on the jth
wheel (k = x; y; z and j = fo,,ro,ri)
F
yx
projection on the vehicle's longitudinal axis of
the resultant of all the forces that are contained
in the tire-road plane and are applied on the
wheels
g acceleration of the gravity
h
ra
roll axis distance from the centre of gravity of
the sprung mass
I
xs
roll moment of inertia of the sprung mass
I
z
yaw moment of inertia of the vehicle
K
f
, K
r
roll stiffness of the front and rear suspension
respectively
K
roll
total roll stiffness of the suspension
k ratio of the rear steer angle to the front steer
angle
` wheelbase of the vehicle
m mass
n transmission ratio of the steering box
p roll angular velocity of the sprung mass
Forschung im Ingenieurwesen 66 (2001) 260266 Springer-Verlag 2001
260
K. N. Spentzas (&)
Mechanical Engineering Department,
National Technical University of Athens,
Polytechnioupolis, Building M,
15780 Athens, Greece
I. Alkhazali
National Technical University of Athens,
Polytechnioupolis, Building M,
15780 Athens, Greece
M. Demic
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Kragujevac,
34000 Kragujevac, Yugoslavia
q pitch angular velocity of the sprung mass
r yaw angular velocity of the vehicle
t time
2t
f
, 2t
r
absolute value of the front and of the rear track
width respectively
U forward velocity of the vehicle
V lateral velocity of the vehicle
W
L
longitudinal weight transfer
W
bf
, W
br
front and rear transversal weight transfer due to
body roll
W
rf
, W
rf
front and rear transversal weight transfer due to
roll centre height
W
Tf
, W
Tr
front and rear transversal weight transfer
W
uf
, W
ur
front and rear transversal weight transfer due to
the height of the un-sprung mass
a
j
sideslip angle of the jth wheel of the vehicle
b sideslip angle of the vehicle
d
j
steer angle of the jth wheel of the vehicle
h
s
rotation angle of the steering wheel
u roll angle of the sprung mass
w heading angle of the vehicle
Subscripts
f front wheel
G centre of mass
i inner wheel to the negotiated curve
j jth wheel of the vehicle (j = f for front wheels,
j = r for rear wheels or j = 1 for the front left
wheel, j = 2 for the front right wheel, j = 3 for the
rear left wheel and j = 4 for the rear right wheel)
o outer wheel to the negotiated curve
r rear wheel
s sprung
u un-sprung
w wheel
x; y; z along the longitudinal, the transversal and the
vertical axis of the vehicle or of the wheel
1
Introduction
Considerable efforts have been invested recently in the
development of four-wheel-steering (4WS) vehicles, aim-
ing to improve the manoeuvring ability and the safety of
operation of vehicles.
The following are the typical models of 4WS vehi-
cles that are most frequently used in the literature
[10, 8, 6, 7, 1]:
Model I. A 2 degrees-of-freedom linear model (bicycle
model) that retains the lateral velocity V and the yaw
angular velocity r as degrees-of-freedom. The equations of
motion for this model are written as follows
m(U r dV=dt) = F
yf
F
yr
(1)
I
z
(dr=dt) = a F
yf
b F
yr
: (2)
Each one of the lateral forces appearing in the above
equations is a linear function of the sideslip angle of the
respective wheel, the linearity coefcient being the cor-
nering stiffness of the tire
F
yf
= C
f
a
f
(3)
F
yr
= C
r
a
r
: (4)
Each one of the sideslip angles is a functions of the steer
angle of the respective wheel and is computed as follows
a
f
= d
f
(V a r)=U (5)
a
r
= d
r
(V b r)=U : (6)
The following relations dene the steer angles of the
wheels
d
f
= h
s
=n (7)
d
r
= k d
f
: (8)
h
s
being the steering wheel angle, n being the transmission
ratio of the steering box and k the proportionality coef-
cient between the front steer angle and rear steer angle.
From the above relations we can compute the propor-
tionality coefcient k
k = (b L a m V
2
=C
r
)=(a L b m V
2
=C
f
) :
(9)
Model II. A 3 degrees-of-freedom non-linear model that
retains as variables the lateral velocity V, the rolling ve-
locity p and yaw velocity r and considers the rear wheels
steer angle d
r
proportional to the front wheels steer angle
d
f
.
The equations of motion for model II are
m(U r dV=dt) m
s
h
ra
(dp=dt) =
X
[F
y
[ (10)
I
z
(dr=dt) =
X
[M
z
[ (11)
I
xs
(dp=dt) m
s
h
ra
(U r dV=dt)
= (m
s
g h
ra
K
roll
) u D
roll
p : (12)
A non-linear denition of the sideslip angles is retained
a
f
= d
f
arctan[(V a r)=U[ (13)
a
r
= d
r
arctan[(V b r)=U[ : (14)
Model II makes use of the assumptions
d
1
= d
2
= d
f
(15)
d
3
= d
4
= d
r
(16)
d
r
= k d
f
: (17)
The above two models neglect two important phenomena:
(a) The front wheel steer angle d
f
and the rear wheel steer
angle d
r
do not depend only on the steering wheel
angle h
s
but also on the speed with which the driver of
a vehicle changes the angle h
s
, that is, they also depend
on dh
s
=dt.
(b) The resultant F
y
(taken in the centre of gravity of the
vehicle) of all the transversal forces F
yj
applied on the
wheels of the vehicle (reaction forces contained in the
road plan), gives a component F
yx
along the longitu-
dinal axis of the vehicle that may take a negative value
and has an impact on the fuel consumption of the
vehicle.
The authors of this paper elaborated a model more so-
phisticated than either of the previous ones, that takes into
261
K. N. Spentzas et al.: Dynamics of four-wheel-steering vehicles
consideration the above two phenomena. This model will
be called ``Model III'' throughout this paper and will be
presented in the following paragraphs.
2
Dynamic model III
2.1
Assumptions
Model III was elaborated on the basis of the following
general principles and assumptions:
(a) The dynamic model of a 4WS vehicle must be able to
take into consideration all the physical phenomena
that are related to the motion of the vehicle, included
the phenomenon of the lateral and the longitudinal
weight transfer.
(b) The dynamic model must be as simple as possible,
retaining no more degrees of freedom than it is nec-
essary. This is favourable to a fast solution of the
equations of motion.
(c) The chassis of the vehicle is considered to be rigid.
(d) The wheels of the vehicle are considered to remain all
time in contact with the ground.
(e) Without sacricing the accuracy of the model, we
consider that the body of the vehicle is kinetically
equivalent to the sprung mass and the two un-sprung
masses of the front and rear suspensions. These three
masses are interconnected by the roll axis of the ve-
hicle, the later being dened as the axis that joins the
front roll centre to the rear roll centre.
(f) The centre of mass G of the vehicle is coincident with
the origin of the axis system O; the vehicle is sym-
metric about the xz plane. Consequently the inertia
product I
xy
= 0.
(g) The vehicle is moving on a smooth road. Consequently
the heave velocity and the pitch velocity are zero,
W = q = 0, and also
P
[F
z
[ =
P
[M
y
[ = 0.
(h) The total mass of the vehicle is the sum of the
sprung mass m
s
and the un-sprung mass m
u
. The co-
ordinates of the centre of the sprung mass are (0, 0,
h
s
) and, obviously, the rolling velocity p and the
pitching velocity q have a meaning only for the
sprung mass.
2.2
Equations of motion
Referring to the table dening the symbols used in this
paper, we will write, in the time domain, the equations of
motion for model III as follows
m (dU=dt V r) m
s
h
s
p r =
X
[F
x
[ (18)
m (dV=dt U r) m
s
h
ra
(dp=dt) =
X
[F
y
[
(19)
I
xs
(dp=dt) m
s
h
ra
(dV=dt U r) =
X
[M
x
[
(20)
I
z
r =
X
[M
z
[ : (21)
This system of equations is derived from the general
equations of motion given in bibliography [12, 4, 11] by
applying the above assumptions.
Given the fact, that the driver of the vehicle chooses the
value of the forward velocity U, U is not an unknown.
Consequently the unknowns in the system of equations of
motion are reduced to three, the lateral velocity V, the
rolling velocity p and the yaw velocity r.
2.3
Total forces and total moments
The total forces and total moments that gure in the
second members of the equations of motion are computed
by use of the following relations
X
[F
x
[ =
X
[F
j
sin d
j
[ (22)
X
[F
y
[ =
X
[F
j
cos d
j
[ (23)
X
[M
x
[ = (m
s
g h
ra
K
roll
) u D
roll
p (24)
X
[M
z
[ = a (F
1
cos d
1
F
2
cos d
2
)
b (F
3
cos d
3
F
4
cos d
4
)
t
f
(F
2
sin d
2
F
4
sin d
4
)
t
r
(F
1
sin d
1
F
3
sin d
3
) : (25)
2.4
Sideslip angles of the wheels
The sideslip angle of each wheel is considered to be a
function of its steer angle. We have the following four
relations
a
1
= d
1
arctan[(V a r)=(U t
f
r)[ (26)
a
2
= d
2
arctan[(V a r)=(U t
f
r)[ (27)
a
3
= d
3
arctan[(b r V)=(U t
r
r)[ (28)
a
4
= d
4
arctan[(b r V)=(U t
r
r)[ (29)
Given the denition of our model, we can assume, as in
model II, that
d
1
= d
2
= d
f
(15)
d
3
= d
4
= d
r
: (16)
2.5
Tire model
In our model we make use either of the CALSPAN tire
model or of the magic formula tire model [2, 9]. The magic
formula tire model is the more accurate tire model now
available [5].
2.6
Weight transfers
The longitudinal and the transversal weight transfers are
taken into account in the computation of the normal
reaction forces of the road on a wheel.
The longitudinal weight transfer is due to the acceler-
ation or to the deceleration of the vehicle and is given by
W
L
= (m
s
g A
x
h m
uf
g A
x
h
uf
M
ur
g A
x
h
ur
)=2L : (30)
262
Forsch Ingenieurwes 66 (2001)
The value of A
x
in the above relation must be entered as
positive for an accelerating vehicle and negative for a de-
celerating vehicle.
The transversal weight transfer consists of three com-
ponents, the transversal weight transfer due to body roll
W
b
, the transversal weight transfer due to the height of the
roll centre W
r
and the transversal weight transfer due to
the height of the un-sprung mass W
u
. Consequently the
front and rear transversal weight transfers are
W
Tf
= W
bf
W
rf
W
uf
(31)
W
Tr
= W
br
W
rr
W
ur
: (32)
Each one of the terms guring in the last two equations
can be computed from the following relations
W
bf
= m
s
(dV=dt U r) h
ra
cos u
(K
f
=K
roll
) (1=2t
f
) (33)
W
br
= m
s
(dV=dt U r) h
ra
cos u
(K
f
=K
roll
) (1=2t
r
) (34)
W
rf
= m
s
(dV=dt U r) (b=`) (h
f
=2t
f
) (35)
W
rr
= m
s
(dV=dt U r) (a=`) (h
r
=2t
r
) (36)
W
uf
= m
uf
(dV=dt U r) (h
f
=2t
f
) (37)
W
ur
= m
ur
(dV=dt U r) (h
r
=2t
r
) : (38)
2.7
Normal reaction forces on the wheels
Given the computation of the weight transfers, we can
compute the normal reaction forces on the wheels as fol-
lows
F
zfo
= m g b=2` W
L
W
Tf
(39)
F
zfi
= m g b=2` W
L
W
Tf
(40)
F
zro
= m g a=2` W
L
W
Tr
(41)
F
zri
= m g a=2` W
L
W
Tr
: (42)
2.8
Steer angles of the wheels
In the light of the results presented in a previous paper
[13], the steering wheel angles are considered to be linear
functions not only of the steering wheel angle h
s
, but also
of dh
s
=dt
d
f
= k
1f
h
s
k
2f
(dh
s
=dt) (43)
d
r
= k
1r
h
s
k
2r
(dh
s
=dt) : (44)
In the traditional method of steering a vehicle by a steering
wheel, the driver decides on the values of k
1f
and k
2f
. The
designer of the 4WS vehicle decides on the values of k
1r
and k
2r
, either by giving a x value to them or by providing
a adequate algorithm (materialised by a steering system
controller) that provides the optimum values for k
1r
and
k
2r
as functions of k
1f
and k
2f
.
3
Numerical evaluation of model III by comparison
to models I and II
In the following numerical application we consider a ve-
hicle moving along a given trajectory with a forward ve-
locity U and a tolerance of 1:5 m. The trajectory used
here is dened by the following generalised kinematical
relation [14]
tan(d
f
a
f
) tan(d
r
a
r
) = `=Rcos b : (45)
We solve the equations of motion by the 4th order Runge
Kutta algorithm and obtain the following functions of
time: the lateral acceleration A
y
, the lateral velocity V, the
yaw velocity r, the sideslip angle b and the projection F
yx
,
on the longitudinal axis x of the vehicle, of the resultant
(taken in the centre of gravity of the vehicle) of all the
transversal forces F
y
applied on the wheels of the vehicle
(reaction forces contained in the road plane).
Moreover we make use of the Box optimisation algo-
rithm and determine the optimum values of the four co-
efcients k
1f
, k
2f
, k
1r
, k
2r
that minimise the sideslip angle b
Fig. 1. Variation with time of the lateral
velocity of the vehicle (simulation results
by model I in mixed line, by model II in
dashed line, by model III in full line)
263
K. N. Spentzas et al.: Dynamics of four-wheel-steering vehicles
of the vehicle and also render the value of the resultant F
yx
non-negative.
In Figs. 15, we present the functions of time V, A
y
, r, b
and F
yx
computed by our model (model III) and also the
respective functions computed by models I and II. By
comparing these results we can conclude on the superi-
ority of model III for the application presented here.
4
Conclusions
In this paper we presented an optimised 3 degrees-of-
freedom non-linear model of four-wheel-steering vehicles
that retains as variables the lateral velocity V, the rolling
velocity p and yaw velocity r. This model considers the
steer angle of the front wheels d
f
and the steer angle of the
rear wheels d
r
as linear functions of the steering wheel
angle h
s
and of dh
s
=dt
d
f
= k
1f
h
s
k
2f
(dh
s
=dt) (43)
d
r
= k
1r
h
s
k
2r
(dh
s
=dt) : (44)
The parameters k
1f
, k
2f
, k
1r
, k
2r
are optimised by a math-
ematical algorithm that renders minimum the sideslip
angle b of the vehicle and also assures that, the resultant
(taken in the centre of gravity of the vehicle) of all the
transversal forces applied on the wheels of the vehicle
(reaction forces contained in the road plane), give a
component F
yx
along the longitudinal axis of the vehicle
that takes a non negative value.
We considered a vehicle negotiating a curve at con-
stant speed and computed all the motion functions by
our model (model III), by the bicycle model (model I)
and by a non-linear three degrees-of-freedom model
(model II) that considers the rear wheel steer angle as
proportional to the front wheel steer angle. Comparison
Fig. 2. Variation with time of the lateral
acceleration of the vehicle (simulation results
by model I in mixed line, by model II in
dashed line, by model III in full line)
Fig. 3. Variation with time of the yaw velocity
of the vehicle (simulation results by model I in
mixed line, by model II in dashed line,
by model III in full line)
264
Forsch Ingenieurwes 66 (2001)
of the results for that case testies for the superiority of
model III.
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Fig. 4. Variation with time of the sideslip
angle of the vehicle (simulation results by
model I in mixed line, by model II in dashed
line, by model III in full line)
Fig. 5. Variation with time of the projection,
on the vehicle's longitudinal axis, of the
resultant of all the forces that are contained in
the tire-road plane and are applied on the
wheels (simulation results by model I in
mixed line, by model II in dashed line,
by model III in full line
265
K. N. Spentzas et al.: Dynamics of four-wheel-steering vehicles
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266
Forsch Ingenieurwes 66 (2001)