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When Vehicle Dynamics meets Vehicle Control in Traffic

1 June 2010

Model Based Design of Vehicles in Traffic - A single vehicle losing control may cause a rapidly escalating wave of collisions of increasing severity.

The intentional modeling of such situations imposes a paradigm of progression unlikely to correlate well with the physical analog since it is extremely difficult to predict the effects of the primary collisions. This may be a relatively infrequent example of traffic, but it is in these circumstances that safety-prioritized design is extremely important. The requirement on the vehicle designers must still be that each vehicle's control system should be able to correct in such a way as to avoid a collision and/or ensure that each vehicle and its occupants survive with damage minimized.

This traffic use case is impossible to apply to a set of physical mule vehicles due to the very high likelihood of test drivers being killed and expensive mule vehicles being wrecked. This is not a contrived example - there are many similar cases where it is more than useful to determine the likely outcome and to gather insight into what controls can be efficaciously applied to avoid collisions and/or minimize damage to occupants and vehicles. Rigorous testing of corner cases in physical systems will be destructive - including for the driver, which is unacceptable. The practical and feasible approach to building and verifying vehicle and traffic control systems is via functional and timing accurate simulatable models. For large systems, high-performance simulation is necessary.

When Vehicle Dynamics meets Vehicle Control in Traffic - Read the full EST article from Vehicle Dynamics International.