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Applications of Model Predictive Control to Vehicle Dynamics for Active Safety and Stability

In the United States, the automobile is a foundation upon which many aspects of daily life are built. Cars provide opportunities, including the freedom to live at a distance from employers, the ability to travel, and even the option to express oneself with choice of vehicle. The utility of the automobile is clear, and the proof lies in approximately 2.9 trillion vehicle miles traveled in 2009 alone in the United States [48]. However, the cost in human lives is also clear. In that same year, nearly 34 thousand people were killed and 2.2 million people were injured in the U.S. as a result of vehicle crashes [48]. Often these crashes occur in unfavorable conditions brought about due to the actions of the driver or interactions with the environment. Excessive speed and sudden changes in surface friction due to gravel, snow, or ice are commonly associated with these types of loss-of-control crashes. In these conditions, the dynamics of the vehicle change drastically from those of normal everyday driving. Unprepared drivers who must suddenly handle the vehicle in these challenging driving regimes may fail to respond appropriately and lose control.

Craig Beal
Publication Date
January, 2011