Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

MAE Ph.D. Exit Seminar- Scott Varnhagen

Development of Vehicle Dynamics Control for Wheel-Motored Vehicles

By: Scott Varnhagen
Advisors: Professor Donald Margolis

Electrified powertrains are becoming prevalent in the automotive industry due to their increased
efficiency as well as ability to utilize fuel sources alternative to petroleum. One configuration of electrified
powertrain is the wheel motored vehicle, where electric motors independently drive two or even four of the
vehicle’s wheels. Such a configuration is poised to take advantage of the following merits of electric motors for
stability and handling control: 1) electric motors can generate both driving and braking torque which allows for
the generation of a maximum yaw-moment without impacting longitudinal velocity, 2) electric motors can
respond 10 times more quickly than electro-hydraulic brake systems and 3) unlike conventional
powertrain/brake systems, the torque output by an electric motor can be estimated with high accuracy.
It was the goal of this work to develop a realizable control system which takes advantage of these
merits, resulting in a vehicle which is both safer and more enjoyable to drive compared to a conventional
automobile. This presentation will describe the control methodology which was developed in collaboration
between UC Davis and Ford Motor Company. The completed control system was deployed on a prototype
wheel-motored vehicle, and experimental results will be presented.

Date/Time
Date(s) - 10/30/2014
4:10 pm - 5:00 pm

Location
1062 Bainer Classroom

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