Limit handling in a driving simulator

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The purpose of this work has been to investigate how the driving simulator performs at the handling limit of a vehicle and improve its function so that the simulator feels and behaves more like a real vehicle when driving on the limit. Tests were performed with a Volvo S40, the same vehicle model for which the driving simulator vehicle dynamics model is based upon. Based on these test results the vehicle model that is currently used in VTI’s driving simulator III was modified in order to better simulate vehicle characteristics when driving on the handling limit. A method for validation of handling characteristics was developed. The method is based on the double lane change manoeuvre, and comprise a subjective and an objective part. The method was regarded to work well, and the validation tests showed that the modified vehicle model closer captures the understeer and time lag properties of a real Volvo S40 compared to the original model. Still, additional improvements need to be made before the model can be regarded as fully useful for on-the-limit driving situations.

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