Vehicle dynamics is a fascinating subject, but it can also be very frustrating without the tools to truly understand it. We can try to rely on experience, but an objective knowledge needs a scientific approach. Something grounded on significant mathematical models, that is models complex enough to catch the essence of the phenomena under investigation, yet simple enough to be understood by a (well trained) human being. This is the essence of science, and vehicle dynamics is no exception. But the really important point is in the mental attitude we should have in approaching a problem. We must be skeptical. We must be critical. We must be creative. Even if something is commonly accepted as obviously true, or if it looks very reasonable, it may be wrong, either totally or partially wrong. There might be room for some sort of improvement, for a fresh point of view, for something valuable. Vehicle dynamics can be set as a truly scientific subject, it actually needs to be set as such to achieve a deep comprehension of what is going on when, e.g., a race car negotiates a bend. When approached with open mind, several classical concepts of vehicle dynamics, like, e.g., the roll axis, the understeer gradient, even the wheelbase, turn out to be very weak concepts indeed. Concepts often misunderstood, and hence misused. Concepts that need to be revisited and redefined, and reformulated to achieve an objective knowledge of vehicle dynamics. Therefore, even experienced people will probably be surprised by how some topics are addressed and discussed here. To formulate vehicle dynamics on sound concepts we must rely on clear definitions and model formulations, and then on a rigorous mathematical analysis. We must, indeed, “formulate” the problem at hand by means of mathematical formulæ [4]. There is no way out. Nothing is more practical than a good theory. However, although we will not refrain from using formulæ, at the same time we will keep the analysis as simple as possible, trying to explain what each formula tells us. To help the reader, the Index of almost all mathematical symbols is provided at the end of this book. We believe an Index is more useful than a Glossary because it shows in which context each symbol is defined.

The science of vehicle dynamics

GUIGGIANI, MASSIMO
2014-01-01

Abstract

Vehicle dynamics is a fascinating subject, but it can also be very frustrating without the tools to truly understand it. We can try to rely on experience, but an objective knowledge needs a scientific approach. Something grounded on significant mathematical models, that is models complex enough to catch the essence of the phenomena under investigation, yet simple enough to be understood by a (well trained) human being. This is the essence of science, and vehicle dynamics is no exception. But the really important point is in the mental attitude we should have in approaching a problem. We must be skeptical. We must be critical. We must be creative. Even if something is commonly accepted as obviously true, or if it looks very reasonable, it may be wrong, either totally or partially wrong. There might be room for some sort of improvement, for a fresh point of view, for something valuable. Vehicle dynamics can be set as a truly scientific subject, it actually needs to be set as such to achieve a deep comprehension of what is going on when, e.g., a race car negotiates a bend. When approached with open mind, several classical concepts of vehicle dynamics, like, e.g., the roll axis, the understeer gradient, even the wheelbase, turn out to be very weak concepts indeed. Concepts often misunderstood, and hence misused. Concepts that need to be revisited and redefined, and reformulated to achieve an objective knowledge of vehicle dynamics. Therefore, even experienced people will probably be surprised by how some topics are addressed and discussed here. To formulate vehicle dynamics on sound concepts we must rely on clear definitions and model formulations, and then on a rigorous mathematical analysis. We must, indeed, “formulate” the problem at hand by means of mathematical formulæ [4]. There is no way out. Nothing is more practical than a good theory. However, although we will not refrain from using formulæ, at the same time we will keep the analysis as simple as possible, trying to explain what each formula tells us. To help the reader, the Index of almost all mathematical symbols is provided at the end of this book. We believe an Index is more useful than a Glossary because it shows in which context each symbol is defined.
2014
Guiggiani, Massimo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/429274
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