The job of a vehicle dynamics engineer is to translate the driver's expectations, which is to have absolute control over the vehicle irrespective of the situation, into engineering work and its integration, Dinesh Tyagi, Director, ICAT, has said.
Delivering his address at the inaugural session of ‘Motion in Control 2021 – Indian Vehicle Dynamics Conference,’ organised by SAENIS (Society of Automotive Engineers Northern India Section) in association with Mobility Outlook, and supported by iCAT and Maruti Suzuki, Tyagi said, ride comfort, handling, braking and steering, in the combination of challenging driving conditions, are the primary elements of vehicle dynamics related engineering. Optimising softness and stiffness parameters in static and dynamic conditions is always a challenge for the engineering domain, and a compromised balance is always the outcome. There is much subjectivity that goes into the configuration of elements, he said.
Speaking on the occasion, C V Raman, CTO & Member of Executive Board of Maruti Suzuki, said there is a significant change in the environment and infrastructure, especially with different kinds of road surface in different places. Currently, about 35% of the vehicles run on urban roads and the rest on rural roads; therefore, there is much diversity in the ecosystem. Moreover, the hatchback and sedans are giving way to SUVs with larger tyres, changing the way of weight distribution of the vehicle. However, irrespective of the transformation, the customers look for a comfortable ride. In addition, the sub-systems and regulations also drive significant changes to the vehicles. Therefore, dynamics will play a prominent role in vehicles in the future, he said.
Integration of new technologies also play a key role, he mentioned. Hence there is a need to strike a balance, and the role of vehicle dynamics engineers is to find the right optimum balance considering the vehicle weight, durability and customers requirements in mind, he said. Furthermore, concurrent development is crucial as the vehicle dynamics need to be co-created along with suppliers. Combining CAE simulation with track testing skills will help achieve a better correlation of subjective versus objective methodologies, which will be the key for faster development of new models, he added.
Talking from the commercial vehicles point of view, Dr N Saravanan, President & CTO, Ashok Leyland, said local context should be kept in mind in engineering vehicle dynamics, besides balancing overload capability and ride quality. To achieve this, standardising the interface would be a better option, he said. The key is to use both subjective and objective evaluation in addition to upfront simulation tools.
For vehicles using alternate fuels and electric commercial vehicles, the steering geometry should be calibrated according to the torque delivered by the vehicle, as the CNG or LNG will have lesser launch torque while electric vehicles will have higher torque compared to diesel added.
From the suppliers' viewpoint, Avinash Chintawar, Managing Director, Robert Bosch Chassis Systems India, said that out of 270,000 accidents involving cars, about 15% of them are due to their loss of control. Close to 9,000 lives and nearly 50,000 minor and major injuries could be saved if the cars are under control. ESP plays a vital role in vehicle safety, he said and added that the global average of ESP penetration is about 80% while it is less than 20% in India. Today technology offers multiple options to make vehicles comfortable and safe, which is essential for India, which has about 11% of global fatalities despite having only 4% of the global vehicle population, he added.
Representing two-wheelers, Dr Jabez Dhinagar, Senior Vice President (Advanced Engineering Group), TVS Motor Company, said that motion in control would have two parts – control in the edge and control in the cloud. Many controllers will get delinked from the way today’s controllers work in vehicles. Once the two-wheeler industry moves to the next phase, it will have more data and more capability in the cloud and less in the vehicle. There will also be more centralised decision making in the vehicles, making them safer for the users.
From the perspective of tyres, Renji Issac, Vice President & Head of R&D, CEAT, said the future is a multi-modal transportation system, and mostly it will be shared mobility, especially in developed countries and urban areas. Moreover, with autonomous level – 4 and level – 5 coming, human intervention is not needed as vehicles communicate with other vehicles and infrastructure, eventually eliminating surprises and emergencies. Therefore, reliability of performance becomes the primary demand. Accordingly, the priority of performance demand changes; airless tyres and tyres with sensors will be a reality, eventually making noise and comfort taking precedence over other parameters. Therefore, the future is exciting and challenging as the vehicle always needs tyres, he said.
Anand Kulkarni, Vice President and Product Line Head for Passenger Electrics and the Alfa Arc Architecture, Tata Motors, said that vehicle dynamics today include many areas carrying a multiplicity of meanings related to steering handling, ride comfort, NVH and aerodynamics. These key aspects are critical to defining the occupants’ perception of the vehicle’s driving characteristics and the contrary requirements between ride & handling and NVH. The intense complexity is engineers delight and challenge, he said.
Day-1 of the event also had technology presentations by Vivek Lakhera, General Manager, Tata Motors and Andreas Pfister of Pfister Driving Dynamics, Germany.
The programme will continue for three more days. Then, on December 2, 2021, there will be technology presentations between 10:00 am - 01:00 pm by Prof R Krishna Kumar, Professor, IIT Madras, Anand Vijayakumar, DGM, ERC - Indoor Testing, Tata Motors, Prof Bernard Schick, CEO, MdynamiX AG & Research Professorship, University of Applied Sciences, Kempten and Raoul Popescu-Ghimis, CEO, RACE Software & Mr Hrishikesh Mandyam, CEng MIMechE, COO, RACE Software.
On December 3, 2021, technology presentations (10:00 am - 01:00 pm) will be given by Kaniappan P, Managing Director, WABCO India, Sathish M, DGM, Ashok Leyland and Girikumar Kumaresh, Sr Programme Manager - Lead Accident Research India, Advanced Autonomous Systems: Safety, ADAS, Bosch.
There will be a panel discussion on December 4, the event's last day, between 10:00 am - 11:00 am. It will be participated by Anand Bhangaonkar, Executive Vice President, Piaggio Vehicles, Gavin Hardman, Head - Chassis Design, Center for Innovative Technologies, Hero MotoCorp, M U B Rao, Head Engineering, Mahindra Truck & Bus Division, Amardeep Singh, Head-Chassis Design Validation, Maruti Suzuki India and Prashant Vijay, DGM, ICAT and Convenor, MiC.
The technology presentations (11:00 am - 1:00 pm) will be given by Renji Issac, VP and Head of R&D and Technology India, CEAT and Prof Pim Van Der Jagt, Technical Director, AB Dynamics Europe GmbH.
Bosch and CEAT are supporting Motion in Control 2021 as Technology Demonstration Partners. ATS, ABDynamics and OXTS are the other sponsors for the event.