Many of today’s passenger vehicles have special features that help them avoid rollover even in the most difficult of situations. Technologies like Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Roll Stability Control (RSC) help keep drivers safe, and related technologies such as active steering and Adaptive Cruise Control ACC can be (and in some cases are) combined with them to make the vehicles even safer.
Although such state-of-the-art vehicle control and stabilization can be achieved in passenger vehicles, today’s military vehicles do not have a similar kind of intelligence. This is a major problem, as these vehicles face a more difficult challenge in safe operation; the combination of variable terrain, loading conditions, weight distribution, and dangerous operating environments. The technologies used in the passenger car space, however, can’t be directly applied to overcome these challenges for military vehicles, and something new is needed to help reduce rollover and enhance safety.
Enter Vehicle Stability System Plus (VSS+): Predictive Stability Control
Quantum Signal has been working with US Army TARDEC on the VSS+ project since 2012. The purpose of the project is to develop a next-generation vehicle stability system specifically for off-road, military ground vehicle use. VSS+ is unique in that is has both a reactive capability (continuously monitoring the vehicle stability in real time), as well as a predictive capability that monitors upcoming terrain, obstacle conditions, and operator inputs to predict the future vehicle stability. New algorithms and approaches to stability prediction and control are being developed and integrated to form a low-cost, adaptable solution applicable to a wide range of vehicles of varying size and type.
VSS+ Uses Model-Based Control
A key element of VSS+ is its control architecture. That architecture relies heavily upon mathematical models of the vehicle that it is controlling. The mathematical models are “fed” the vehicle’s current measured state (e.g., acceleration and speed data), and data from sensors that monitor the upcoming terrain (e.g., LIDAR). The model then computes the future state of the vehicle, if it will be stable, and what corrective actions should be (automatically) taken. Here, QS’ real-time ANVEL software (LINK2) and derivatives thereof are being used both to help develop the system as well as being an integral part of it.
How Can I Learn More About VSS+?
The VSS+ system is currently under development, and is expected to see substantial testing and validation activities in 2015. QS is seeking potential users and commercialization partners for the VSS+ system, and is happy to provide hear from those interested.
VSS+ Key Features and Capabilities
- Multiple roll and yaw stability warning and intervention modalities, ranging from visual and audible operator alerts (when vehicle stability is threatened) to direct vehicle control via steering and/or braking
- Operate under various loading conditions without requiring parameter tuning or gain adjustment
- Operate at speeds up to 40 kph, in day or night conditions
- Seamless integration with medium and light tactical vehicles
- Seamless integration with manned and unmanned vehicles
- Prediction of rollover or yaw stability event due to a wide variety of phenomena.
- Low cost hardware
Have a vehicle stability or control opportunity? Let Quantum Signal apply its vast mechatronics expertise to assist you! Contact us today!