Compared with the fixed-control case, relatively few studies of the effects on handling quality of the nature of the free-control response of an automobile to steering torque inputs have been reported. Prior to reviewing these studies, an attempt is made in this paper to provide a conceptual framework for assessing the results, by drawing on analytical and experimental work concerned with manual control in closed-loop tracking systems. Application of these ideas to the automobile shows that a fixed-control driver strategy is required where precise path control is necessary. Less demanding situations would allow a free-control driving mode. Steering task performance is found to be relatively insensitive to free-control vehicle responses. However, drivers exhibit clear preferences for certain ranges of steering torque gradient, and for rapid responses of steering wheel angle to torque inputs. Vehicle handling variables interact strongly in their effect on driver opinion. For example, the optimum steering torque gradient (in n m/g) decreases, and the optimum steering "stiffness" (in n m/rad) increases, as the fixed-control response sensitivity increases. Within fairly wide ranges, the damping of the free-control oscillatory mode has little effect on handling quality. (a) (TRRL)

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Swets and Zeitlinger BV

    3476 Heerweg, Publications Department
    Lisse,   Netherlands 
  • Authors:
    • Good, M C
  • Publication Date: 1979-9

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00309059
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 22 1980 12:00AM