Mechanik und Mechatronik
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Vehicle System Dynamics and Control


Simulating the dynamics of a virtual vehicle prototype has become indispensable in the up-to-date vehicle design process. Providing a reliable physical–mathematical simulation model requires not only a lot of experience, but also a fundamental understanding of observed or demanded dynamic behaviour to both account for the involved complexity of the real system and to correctly analyse the dynamic behaviour of the full vehicle and its components and subsystems. Design and mathematical analysis of the vehicle system go hand in hand.

Numerical analysis of a simulation model allows to subsequently optimise the system behaviour based on given demands, for instance to minimise loads of vehicle components, to increase ride comfort, to ensure save driving, and to make efficient use of energy resources, just to name a few examples. Resulting and sometimes conflicting objectives cannot always be realised by optimisation of appropriate system parameters. Subsequently, vehicle models and their components can be used to define a demanded reference behaviour and to control and to design controllers for superior vehicle system dynamics.

Research group members organised several established international conferences, are editors of the international journal „Vehicle System Dynamics“ and successfully cooperate with industrial partners.



Tyre – What essentially affects the design of an effective ABS/ESC system? Is it active safety or riding comfort? What creates drifting, what accounts for the shortest lap time, what makes us enjoy the dynamic behaviour of a vehicle? The tyre and its simulation model establish the contact to the road and substantially determine the dynamic behaviour of the vehicle by the applied tyre forces and moments, as well as the precision of the predicted or derived vehicle behaviour. Although complex tyre models are ready to support virtual vehicle (component) design, their successful application depends on a fundamental understanding of their characteristics and influence on vehicle dynamics, and, last but not least, on a well-working series of tyre manufacturers, tyre model providers, multibody/vehicle dynamics simulation software and final users. For that purpose, the Research Group established and guided the Tire Model Performance Test (TMPT). In a long term project, the participants of the TMPT (Continental, Michelin, Delft-Tire/TNO, FTire, RMOD-K, TMEasy, Adams, LMS Dads, SIMPACK, Bosch, Daimler, MAGNA Steyr and others) aimed for a more reliable tyre and vehicle model simulation.

Driver – Is it more difficult to learn how to ride a bicycle or how to drive an automobile? How significant are the skills of a motorcycle rider when having an accident? Why can the driver overturn the vehicle in the so-called elk test? – The human driver has the ability to anticipate, predict, preview, control and compensate. The human driver learns by experience and is able to adapt to different driving situations and types of vehicles. The human driver has individual driving skills, mental and physiological capabilities.

And yet – developing driver models to map complex human characteristics makes it possible to consider the combined system of driver, vehicle and environment. After all, understanding the mutual interactions and dependencies of these subsystems will help to provide answers to the above questions.

The Research Group puts a focus on the driver (modelling) in addition to the vehicle and is trying to answer these questions. Statistics on accidents give clear evidence of the importance of studying the human driver. A virtual vehicle prototype requires a virtual driver, and vehicle dynamics control systems and advanced driver assistance systems need to be coordinated with the driver and consider human interference.


P.Lugner, M. Plöchl eds. 
Tire Model Performance Test (TMPT), Vehicle System Dynamics, 2007

M.Plöchl, J. Edelmann
Driver models in automobile dynamics application, Vehicle System Dynamics, 2007

Tire Model Performance Tests (TMPT):


Manfred Plöchl, Johannes Edelmann

TU Wien
Institute of Mechanics and Mechatronics
Vehicle System Dynamics Research Group
Getreidemarkt 9
1060 Vienna – Austria