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2nd International Conference on Research in Science, Engineering and Technology (ICRSET2014), March 21-22, 2014 Dubai (UAE)

Model Building, Hardpoint Optimization &


Experimental Correlation of a Single Seater
EV- Toyota COMS
Husain Kanchwala, Wu Nan, and Harutoshi Ogai
while the design parameters like roll center height, roll
stiffness, ride camber, ride steer, suspension rate, and
percentage anti-dive/ anti-squat are responsible for the stability
and ride comfort. Generally, the parameters which influence
the ride comfort contradict with the ones which affects
handling. Therefore, a trade-off between ride and handling is
established.
All of the above discussed parameters are highly dependent
on the position of various hardpoints. The conclusion is some
hardpoints depends heavily on some suspension
characteristics, thus, we need to identify them and look for a
set of hardpoints which meet the design criteria.

AbstractVehicle handling and stability plays an important role


in the vehicle design. With the improvement in engine power and
better road conditions it influences vehicle safety at high-speeds and
also make steering more comfortable. Handling performance
evaluation is highly subjective and is usually assessed by various
standard test procedures. While field testing is time consuming and
costly computer aided simulation is fast, less expensive and is also
repeatable. On the other hand, it requires precise model building and
experimental validation. The paper focuses on model building of
suspension system, hardpoint optimization and experimental
correlation of a single-seater electric vehicle Toyota-COMS.

KeywordsExperimental Testing & Correlation, Hardpoint


Optimization, K&C (Kinematic and Compliance), Suspension design

II. OVERVIEW
The vehicle used for this study is been equipped with
MacPherson strut front suspension and twist beam rear
suspension. Various hardpoints have been modified in the
existing vehicle. The modified vehicle has been tested against
various test procedures and the test results have been
correlated with that of the mathematical model. For developing
the half car mathematical models ADAMS Car and for
developing full car model CarSim is been used.
MSC ADAMS[13] is a mechanical system dynamics
simulation tool widely used by suspension designers in
automotive industry. It is a virtual prototype software which
includes various interfaces for modelling, equation solving,
optimization, simulation and visualizing aids. It also enables
user to import rigid body models from different CAD
softwares and flexible bodies from packages like MSC Nastran
CarSim[14] developed by Mechanical Simulation Corp., is
used to simulate the vehicle dynamic behavior. It can
communicate very easily with softwares such as Matlab and
Simulink in order to run a co-simulation. Models typically run
more than ten times faster than real time on a 3 GHz PC,
enabling real-time (RT) testing with hardware in the loop
(HIL) systems.
The K&C characteristics of the optimized model from
ADAMS have been exported to CarSim where they are used to
build the full car model as it is easy to integrate vehicle Sfunction block with the controller model developed in
Simulink (As the vehicle would be equipped with autonomous
driving set-up which is not been discussed in this paper).

Abbreviations CAD: Computer Aided design, CMA: Caster


moment arm, DOE: Design of experiments, DOF: Degrees of
freedom, SAC: Steering axis offset at wheel center, LCA: Lower
Control Arm, SSC: Steady state cornering, TB: Twist Beam, F value:
Fisher distribution value

I. INTRODUCTION

USPENSION K&C characteristics play a decisive role in


vehicle ride & handling characteristics. First independent
vehicle suspension has appeared a century ago. Thus, enough
research has been done on modeling and simulation of
suspension systems[1-5], but there are very few papers that
discuss the design optimization of suspension system[6-10].
There are some papers which study the effect of suspension
kinematics on the vehicle handling characteristics[11-12]. The
efforts to design and optimize suspension for quantitative ride
and handling characteristics have to be better channelized.
The first step in designing a suspension, is to determine the
mounting positions of various suspension components called
Hardpoints by kinematic analysis. The design parameters
such as camber, caster, toe, king pin inclination, scrub and
caster moment arm govern the controllability of a vehicle,
Husain Kanchwala is a Research scholar in Indian Institute of Technology,
Kanpur-208016, India (Mobile : +34-631365195; e-mail: husaink@iitk.ac.in)
Wu Nan is a Research scholar in Graduate school of Information,
Production and Systems, Waseda University, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka
Prefecture, Japan (e-mail: wunan@ruri.waseda.jp).
Harutoshi Ogai is a Professor in Graduate school of Information,
Production and Systems, Waseda University, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka
Prefecture, Japan (e-mail: ogai@waseda.jp).

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2nd International Conference on Research in Science, Engineering and Technology (ICRSET2014), March 21-22, 2014 Dubai (UAE)

III. PROCEDURE
Firstly, for preparing half car models, suspension links are
modeled as rigid bodies, while, twist beam is modeled as a
flexible body imported from MSC Nastran. This is done in
order to ensure that the compliance characteristics of the
mathematical model closely resemble the actual vehicle.
Secondly, design guidelines and acceptance criteria of
vehicle suspension K&C characteristics are proposed. Thirdly,
key hardpoints which have great influence on K&C
characteristics are obtained by performing sensitivity analysis.
Hardpoint optimization study is been done on the selected set
of hardpoints to meet the desired objective function.
Finally, experimental correlation study is been performed
based on certain standard test procedures like ISO lane
change, Constant radius cornering, etc. to validate the
simulation results. The detailed procedure is shown below.

Fig. 2 Vehicle on jacks and half car front & rear Suspension models

For the purpose of having model validation twist beam


modal analysis is been done to ensure that the fundamental
frequency of the model been developed is far apart the road
undulation frequency. Also higher modes have been extracted
to verify that they fall well apart from wheel hop frequency.
The mode shapes and the frequencies obtained were verified
by the design data provided by Toyota.

Fig. 3 Twist Beam Modal Analysis

For performing optimization study a rigid body model of the


twist beam suspension with torsional flexibility is been
developed to reduce computational time and effort. TB is
replaced by two rigid links connected by torsion spring whose
stiffness curve is computed from Patran TB model

Fig. 1 Schematic Procedure of design and development

IV. MODEL DEVELOPMENT


Accurate hardpoint measurement is extremely essential as
they influence vehicle dynamic characteristics. This data is
highly confidential and is generally measured using a
Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM). In our case we lack
this facility so manual measurements are made. The vehicle is
jacked up and existing hardpoints are measured precisely using
vernier caliper, plum bob, angle gauge and shims. Repeated
measurements were taken to remove human measurement
errors. The adjoining picture shows the vehicle on four jacks
and half car front and rear suspension models respectively.

Fig. 4 Twist Beam Rigid body model with torsion spring


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2nd International Conference on Research in Science, Engineering and Technology (ICRSET2014), March 21-22, 2014 Dubai (UAE)

The hardpoints of the existing vehicle do not satisfy all of


the above mentioned criteria. In order to meet these design
specifications hardpoint optimization study is been performed
using Monte Carlo simulation in ADAMS-Insight which is a
DOE and optimization tool.
VI. HARDPOINT OPTIMIZATION
In McPherson Strut Front Suspension we had 7 Hardpoints
thus, 21 coordinates (x, y, z coordinates for each hardpoint). It
was not possible to alter all the coordinates because of various
constraints.
The coordinates chosen for study are:
1. LCA_Rear_z: We have u- hole mounting bracket in the
chassis so the lca_rear mounting point can be shifted up/down.
2. LCA_Outer_x, y, z: These coordinates can be easily altered
by spring ride height and ball joint adjustment.
3. Tie_Rod_inner_x, z: These can be shifted by moving the
steering rack fore/aft or up/down. Note that length of existing
rack cannot be changed, so, y coordinate is kept unchanged.
4. Tie_Rod_outer_x, y, z: This point can be freely moved by
loosening or tightening the Jam Nut and by outer ball.

Fig. 5 Torsion Spring stiffness curve obtained from Patran

The front and rear suspension rigid body models were


verified using the model verification checklist as shown below.
TABLE I
FRONT AND REAR SUSPENSION MODEL CHECKLIST

V. KINEMATICS AND COMPLIANCE STUDY


For obtaining K&C characteristics a parallel and opposite
wheel travel study of 50 mm for both front & rear suspensions
is been performed and the model is judged based on the
following acceptance criteria.
Fig. 6 Front Suspension with suggested modifications (encircled)
TABLE II
ACCEPTANCE CRITERIA: FRONT SUSPENSION

No Criteria Value
1 Camber 0to-0.5 deg
2 Caster 3 to 5 deg
0-0.3 deg
Toe-out
3 Toe
4 KPI
8 to 13 deg
5 Scrub -15to30 mm
6 CMA
20to30 mm
7 SAC
< 3 mm

As for the Front Suspension in Rear Suspension also only


twist beam to chassis hardpoint x and z coordinates can be
easily shifted and they have been considered as design
variables. The suggested modification is shown herewith.

No Criteria
Value
8 Ride Steer -6to-10deg/m
9 Ride camber -12to-18deg/m
10
11
12
13
14

Roll Centre
Anti-Dive
Anti-Lift
Susp Rate
Roll stiffness

110-150 mm
20 to 35 %
7 to 12 %
28-38 N/mm
1.2-2e3 Nm/deg

TABLE III
ACCEPTANCE CRITERIA: REAR SUSPENSION

No Criteria
1 Camber
2 Ride Steer
3 Ride camber
4 Roll centre

Value
No Criteria
0 to-0.5 deg
5 Anti-Dive
-6to-10 deg/m
6 Anti-Lift
-12to-18 d/m
7 Susp Rate
110-150 mm
8 Roll stiffness

Value
20 to 35 %
7 to 12 %
30-45 N/mm
.5-1.2e3Nm/d
Fig. 7 Rear Suspension with suggested modifications (encircled)

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2nd International Conference on Research in Science, Engineering and Technology (ICRSET2014), March 21-22, 2014 Dubai (UAE)

Quadratic model fitting procedure is been adopted under


Monte Carlo simulation scheme. Initial values of variables are
sampled at random from input probability distributions. Each
set of samples is called an iteration, and resulting outcome of
each iteration is recorded. These iterations are done a no. of
times, and the result is a probability distribution. Model
reliability is judged on the basis of various model fit estimates.
This method is advantageous as it automatically eradicates
non-sensitive design variables by assigning them a low weight
in the final model, thus, there is no need to perform sensitivity
analysis separately. Also it is quick and converges rapidly.

TABLE V
FRONT SUSPENSION: OPTIMIZED DESIGN OBJECTIVES & HARDPOINTS

Fig. 8 Monte Carlo method implementation in ADAMS Insight

TABLE VI
REAR SUSPENSION: OPTIMIZED DESIGN OBJECTIVES & HARDPOINTS

The chart below shows the fit estimates for Toe angle as one
of the design variable for front suspension. Such fit estimates
were calculated for each of the design variable. It has been
verified for each of the design variable that it has a high F
value and low P value so that the model fitting is reliable. Note
that 128 runs were made, 1 run was for the first trial. The
model has 9 dof as we have 9 design variables, therefore, the
dof in which error can propagate is 118.
TABLE IV
MODEL FIT ESTIMATES FOR TOE ANGLE

VIII. EXPERIMENTAL TESTING & CORRELATION


The mathematical model of the vehicle developed has to be
validated with the experimental results. In order to test various
vehicle characteristics it has been equipped with two
hemispherical GPS sensors, one inertial measurement unit, and
one accelerometer below drivers seat (H point) to measure
linear accelerations in all three directions. Below figures
shows the measurement and data acquisition system from
Onosokki and the vehicle equipped with various sensors.

VII. RESULTS
The set of optimized hardpoints obtained after Monte Carlo
optimization study are shown below.

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2nd International Conference on Research in Science, Engineering and Technology (ICRSET2014), March 21-22, 2014 Dubai (UAE)

The acceptance criteria used is a general design guideline


for single seater hatchback category of vehicles in Automotive
OEMs. If the vehicle passes the criteria then it was indicated
by green color, if it falls 10 percent above the set limit it was
indicated by yellow and if it still overshoots then it was
assigned a red color. This means that there is a need for
improvement in that particular characteristic. It is also been
ensured that the percentage correlation is above 90 percent by
repetitive testing and model updating (for instance, the
torsional flexibility of frame was not modelled previously and
it was updated during correlation study).
The test procedures are given below.
VIII (A). ACCELERATION AND BRAKING
Fig. 9 OnoSokki Measurement and Data Acquisition System[15]

Acceptance Criteria:
1) Maximum Vertical Acceleration < 0.5 g
2) Max Pitch Rate < 15 deg/sec
3) Maximum pitch angle < 3.5 deg
4) Maximum H-point vertical change< 0 to 25mm
Boundary condition:
Speed Profile

Fig. 10 Vehicle Equipped with Sensors

For validating the mathematical model and to assess


whether the modified vehicle shows better handling
characteristics it is tested against some standard test
procedures.Various tracks for vehicle testing are shown below,
Results:

Fig. 11 Acceleration, DLC, CRC and Slalom test tracks prepared in


Graduate School of IPS Waseda University (Clockwise left to right)

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2nd International Conference on Research in Science, Engineering and Technology (ICRSET2014), March 21-22, 2014 Dubai (UAE)

VIII (B). DOUBLE LANE CHANGE (DLC)


Acceptance Criteria:
1) Peak Lateral Acceleration < 0.5 g
2) Peak Roll angle < 3.5 deg
3) Peak Pitch angle < 0.7 deg
4) Yaw Angle < 20 deg
5) Peak Pitch Rate < 10 deg/sec
6) Maximum vehicle velocity achieved > 30 kmph
Boundary conditions:
1) Initial Steer =0 deg
2) Maximum steer = 60 deg
3) Max Velocity= till max lateral acceleration is achieved
4) Track details according to ISO 3888

Fig 11 Constant Radius Method to determine K [16]

Acceptance Criteria:
1) Peak lateral acceleration < 0.6 g.
2) Susp roll gradient (Roll angle/ay)<4 deg/g
3) Body slip gradient (slip angle/ay)<5.5 deg/g
4) Pitch gradient (Pitch angle/ay)< 0.5 deg/g
5) Understeer gradient @0.5g< -30 deg/g
6) Understeer gradient @0.1g< -15 deg/g
Boundary conditions:
1) Initial velocity = 2m/sec.
2) Final velocity = Till vehicle reaches max lateral
acceleration,ay (constant ax of 0.1m/sec2)
3) Constant Radius tracks of 10,20,30 m respectively to find
understeer gradient variation with track radius

Results:

Results:
Results of all the above acceptance criteria are shown only for
20 m radius test. Moreover, variation of K is shown for tests
performed at all radius and at various levels of lateral
acceleration. The vehicle shows understeer characteristics as
indicated by the values of understeer gradient.

VIII (C). STEADY STATE CIRCULAR (SSC) TEST


Background:
SSC is performed to determine the understeer gradient (K).
There are two methods to measure K, Constant Radius and
Constant Speed Method. We have used the first method in
which vehicle undergo a constant radius turn and steering
angle is measured with respect to lateral acceleration.

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2nd International Conference on Research in Science, Engineering and Technology (ICRSET2014), March 21-22, 2014 Dubai (UAE)

suspension hardpoints by kinematic simulation. The data


generated by the optimization software provides design insight
and directions for the production process.
At first, a MacPherson Strut independent front suspension
then Twist beam rear suspension is optimized by using virtual
simulation. Finally, the correlation study is been performed to
validate the model with experimental testing.
So far we have looked upon passive control by optimizing
the hardpoints so that the vehicle handling is better and it
exhibits a smooth ride. As the extension of this work we will
now focus upon building an active control for vehicle ride and
handling dynamics. The vehicle would be equipped by an
autonomous drive set-up designed for the old aged people
mainly concentrated around Kitakyushu in Fukuoka
Prefecture, Japan. For this purpose the vehicle would be
equipped with steering, accelerator and brake controller and
efforts would be made to make ride more comfortable.

VIII (D). SLALOM OR SINUSOIDAL STEER


Acceptance Criteria:
1) Peak Lateral Acc < 0.8 g
2) Peak Roll angle < 3.5 deg
3) Yaw Rate < 50 deg/sec
4) Max Roll rate < 15 deg/sec
5) Peak Sideslip Angle < 3 deg
6) Maximum Front Outside Tire Load (N) < 1.6 * static load
Boundary conditions:
1) Initial Steer =0deg
2) Maximum steering =60 deg.
3) Velocity= until max lateral acceleration level is achieved.
4) Track details: Seven cones are placed in a line with
distance between two cones as six times the wheel base
5) Vehicle path following check by position sensors.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The Authors would like to thank the Management of
Graduate School of IPS, Waseda University for providing the
financial support and allowing us to use the lab facilities of the
university. We would appreciate Onosokki Technical support
team who helped us a lot regarding the use of measurement
and acquisition system. We would also like to extend our
thanks to Toyota Body Company for making the vehicular
confidential data available to us specially tire related data
which are quite difficult to obtain and its determination
requires a lot of experimental effort.
REFERENCES

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IX. CONCLUSION AND FUTURE WORK


Through this study the process of designing a suspension
assembly is been addressed based on the calculation of
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2nd International Conference on Research in Science, Engineering and Technology (ICRSET2014), March 21-22, 2014 Dubai (UAE)

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