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Conference speaker: Saied Taheri

The associate professor at Virginia Tech and director of the Center for Tire Research (CenTiRe) on how intelligent tires are affecting ABS and ESC systems

by John O'Brien

 

At the 2013 Tire Technology Conference, Virginia Tech's Professor Saied Taheri will be speaking on The impact of intelligent tires on ABS/VSC performance.

Tire Technology International: What was the development process to create these new algorithms?

Saied Taheri: The first stage was to develop an intelligent tire algorithm, which we have done. And we have algorithms that give us different variables that are valued to the control system. So now we have taken this step from the intelligent tire into the control systems that are on the chassis, such as active front steering, stability control, ABS and things like that. Now we are devising new control algorithms that work with intelligent tires, so it’s not a canned ABS algorithm that you will find on any cars running today. They are all-new, sophisticated algorithms that are based on knowing the intelligent tire exists that is giving us this information.

How is the testing of these new algorithms undertaken?

We’ve developed a testing trailer. On this 28ft trailer we have cut up the front section and designed a fixture so that we can load up the tire on the ground, hook up the trailer onto a truck, and take it on to varying roads and test the instrumented or intelligent tire. The rig has a force hub, so it measures all the forces and moments as the tire is rolling on the ground. And it can apply load, slip angle and things like that, so we can do the tire testing at various conditions, be it dry or wet. With these intelligent tires, we have gone out and tested around 500 different scenarios and cases on different road conditions, loads, speeds, pressures etc.

We have collected and processed this data. We’ve probably developed 7/8 different algorithms that we use in order to process the data. All this has come out of an estimation of what road we are on, for friction, what slip angle and ratio do we have and what load do we have.

What gains are you seeing over existing systems?

We have four variables that we work with and it’s doing a pretty good job. Around plus/minus 5 to 10% error is what we are getting, and I’m happy with that because even if you do exact simulations, you don’t get much better than what we are getting with data and estimation.

We have also come up with figures of around 7 to 9% for ABS applications with these algorithms. In some cases, we did a split-mu and in those conditions, knowing what friction coefficients we had on the left and right in combination with the new algorithms, we actually went up to 16% improvements. These are all simulations by the way. We don’t have any test cars, but we do have a hardware-in-the-loop system through which we are going to implement these strategies and see what it does.

Are the new algorithms benchmarked against any existing algorithms?

For example, we have looked at if you have a jump in conditions from a dry road to an icy road, how would a traditional control system work in comparison to ours. From what we have seen, ours is superior in simulation to a traditional control. When I say traditional, I mean we have a Bosch algorithm or something similar that runs locally on our simulation.

Are there other potential applications for this technology?

I have a couple of projects with the railroad industry, and I’m applying the same concepts to the flange, to the wheel of the railroad, as it is a black art for them. There is no way to measure the friction between the wheel and the track. So I am giving them some ideas as to what those values may be.

What is the next step for the development?

The second step is still ongoing, but that is to apply it to various chassis control systems. In parallel, we have developed a hardware-in-the-loop system, where we have ABS, stability control, and we are in the process of putting an active front steering system in there too, that can give us some feedback to the steering and apply some torque too.

The next step after all the controllers are done, is to implement them all on the hardware-in-the-loop. Once we are done with that, we are going to place the hardware-in-the-loop onto the trailer and hook up the intelligent tires directly to the hardware-in-the-loop system. Then we'll have a tire-in-the-loop and hardware-in-the-loop system that will take the data from the tire as it is running on the road and feed it in to the system and controller, so it is all real time as the controller tries to do the stopping, or ESC or active front steering, or all the above together.

What is the ultimate goal for the systems and technology?

The ultimate goal is to do an integrated control system with an intelligent tire in the loop.

The idea and notion of an intelligent tire has been around for some time now, what sort of time frame would you put on them actually coming to fruition?

I would say 2015/6. It is coming, the first part of this project was sponsored by a company that is in the process of working with an OEM. From what I hear, 2015/6 is the time frame they are looking at for getting this on a production car.

 

Professor Taheri is speaking at 14:50 on February 6th. For more information, go to www.tiretechnology-expo.com

 

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