Vehicle dynamics testing in driving simulators: a case study for heavy vehicles

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VDTestS set out to probe the potential of a driving simulator in the field of vehicle dynamics testing. For this purpose, a simulator test case was prepared embodying the nature of a vehicle dynamics test set-up. The goal was to figure out if the drivers in the simulator could identify the handling differences owed to changes in vehicle settings, while driving simulated trucks.

A truck model was validated against the performance of a real vehicle under a predefined set of manoeuvres. This was coupled with the tuning of the simulator motion to improve the perception of the vehicle dynamics. These efforts were followed by definition of a group of four test cases, each corresponding to a set of alternate vehicle properties. These sets were selected based on their potential impact on the vehicle handling and correlation with changes that could occur in a real vehicle. Finally, experiments were conducted in VTI’s motion-based driving simulator, Sim IV in Gothenburg, with participation of ten engineers and mechanics from VGTT product development well familiar with truck mechanics and truck driving. The set-up made it possible to gather feedback, about the suitability of the driving simulator in these testing conditions, from professionals in the field. Data was collected subjectively via interviews and questionnaires as well as objectively from the logs comprising of driver inputs and vehicle motions generated during the simulator drives.

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