Active steering control strategy for articulated vehicles Project supported by the Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University, China (No. IRT0626)
To improve maneuverability and stability of articulated vehicles, we design an active steering controller, including tractor and trailer controllers, based on linear quadratic regulator (LQR) theory. First, a three-degree-of-freedom (3-DOF) model of the tractor-trailer with steered trailer axles is built. The simulated annealing particle swarm optimization (SAPSO) algorithm is applied to identify the key parameters of the model under specified vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. Thus, the key parameters of the simplified model can be obtained according to the vehicle conditions using an online look-up table and interpolation. Simulation results show that vehicle parameter outputs of the simplified model and TruckSim agree well, thus providing the ideal reference yaw rate for the controller. Then the active steering controller of the tractor and trailer based on LQR is designed to follow the desired yaw rate and minimize their side-slip angle of the center of gravity (CG) at the same time. Finally, simulation tests at both low speed and high speed are conducted based on the TruckSim-Simulink program. The results show significant effects on the active steering controller on improving maneuverability at low speed and lateral stability at high speed for the articulated vehicle. The control strategy is applicable for steering not only along gentle curves but also along sharp curves.
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