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Title: Characterisation of steering feel
Author: Harrer, Manfred
Awarding Body: University of Bath
Current Institution: University of Bath
Date of Award: 2007
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The steering feel and handling characteristics of a vehicle are vital factors in determining the overall driving pleasure. Time-consuming and expensive development is required by the vehicle manufacturer before this quality can be achieved and improved. Due to a lack of reliable links between subjective assessments and vehicle measurements, the tuning process still relies primarily on subjective assessments by test drivers. In order to improve the understanding and enable the prediction of steering feel, a methodology to describe steering feel objectively is required. Therefore the scope of this work lies on the development of such methodology, in order to identify reliable relationships between subjective assessments and objective parameters derived out of vehicle measurements. Twenty-five cars, separated into five vehicle segments were analysed. To attain consistent subjective assessments, a new questionnaire has been formulated and, with the use of experienced test drivers, reliable subjective assessments have been achieved. Furthermore, a brand-typical steering feel was identified. A new transformation method for the subjective assessments has been developed to meet the requirements of the performed regression analyses. Various open-loop vehicle tests were performed, with the help of a steering robot, to attain high quality measurements. Automated analyses algorithms were developed to ensure an efficient and consistent data processing. Therefore, a large number of high-quality, objective parameters were derived from the vehicle measurements. Simple, dummy and multi regression analyses have been carried out to detect valid links between the objective parameters and the subjective assessments. All valid regression results were examined with the help of further statistical tests and a practical knowledge of vehicle handling, which consequently led to the selection of the final results. These results constitute the required relationships between the subjective and objective assessments, from which target areas for objective parameters are drawn. The assessment criteria "Steering wheel torque", "Centre feel", "Steering precision" and "Steering friction" are vehicle segment independent, while the criteria "Steering response" and "Steering wheel angle demand" are vehicle segment dependent. The objective parameters for steering wheel torque gradients and the corresponding vehicle response gradients have been found to be most important in describing oncentre steering feel in an objective way.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available