Author Archive

  • Suspension kinematics and its effect on performance

    To make a car go faster around a track, there are a couple of things we can do that generally will improve lap times. We can, lower weight, increase engine power, increase downforce, reduce drag, increase tire grip. Unfortunately all these changes typically come with downsides, for example: Lower weight – decreased durability, more expensive materials/processes Increased engine power – increased energy consumption, more difficult to drive More downforce ...

    Posted at September 5, 2012 | By : | Categories : OptimumKinematics Forces Module | Comments Off
  • Throttle maps and tire wear

    In our recent article on the need of power in Formula SAE, we briefly looked at the throttle response of a specific engine. Mapping throttle pedal position to engine torque is a powerful tool for many vehicle dynamics engineers. This mapping can be done mechanically through the use of throttle linkages and cams on the throttle bodies. In other cases this mapping is achieved through mapping ...

    Posted at May 10, 2012 | By : | Categories : Uncategorized | Comments Off
  • It is all about horsepower… or is it?

    A vehicle’s performance can be described using many different metrics. The most commonly used is probably engine power. Whether your unit of choice is horsepower, kilowatts or calories per hour, the peak power of an engine is a number most people can relate to. It’s often thought that more engine power yields better performance - but in this article we are going to look at one example in which “more horsepowers” is not necessarily better.

    Posted at April 23, 2012 | By : | Categories : Uncategorized | Comments Off
  • Asymmetric Tire Data and OptimumTire

    One issue our customers come across every now and then is an asymmetric tire data set. The data set itself is not really the issue, but it can complicate the process of fitting tire models using OptimumTire. An asymmetric tire data set; is tire data collected on a tire testing machine (or vehicle) where parameters such as slip angle are not swept symmetrically around zero. The reason for limiting the test conditions like this ...

    Posted at April 10, 2012 | By : | Categories : Uncategorized | Comments Off
  • Linear or non-linear – that is the question!

    Among all the topics discussed during the Vehicle Dynamics and Control Seminar hosted in Cambridge last year, there was one issue the delegates seemed unable to agree upon. The handling limits of virtually all road vehicles are dictated by the tires, how much force they are able to generate in different conditions in the longitudinal and lateral direction. I will not go into how these forces are generated, but we can visualize their characteristics in ...

    Posted at March 19, 2012 | By : | Categories : Uncategorized | Comments Off
  • Has video killed data acquisition?

    Video killed the radio star is the title of The Buggles’ hit from 1979, their response to the upswing of music videos. In recent years video based data acquisition systems have become increasingly popular among weekend racers and smaller race teams. Has video killed the traditional data acquisition methods? Last year I had the opportunity to teach data acquisition to a group of automotive engineering students. One of the exercises we did ...

    Posted at March 12, 2012 | By : | Categories : Uncategorized | Comments Off
  • Torsional stiffness

    There are many words and expressions commonly used in vehicle dynamics, many of these are very abstract and hard to visualize. One of these words is torsional stiffness. The torsional stiffness of chassis is relevant to help understand how roll stiffness torques from the front and rear axles interact through the chassis. Changing the roll stiffness distribution between axles is a very common way to modify the balance of a vehicle. If the chassis is too ...

    Posted at March 1, 2012 | By : | Categories : Uncategorized | Comments Off
  • About our Technical Articles

    There are tons of interesting blogs to read, some of them are about politics or fashion. There are even some on bread. The one topic we at OptimumG haven’t found being properly covered anywhere is vehicle dynamics. With our technical articles, we want to create a blog that we want to read ourselves. With a focus on vehicle dynamics, we will share our opinions and knowledge on anything remotely related to that (much in the same ...

    Posted at March 1, 2012 | By : | Categories : Uncategorized | Comments Off