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Old 09-08-2005, 08:30 PM   #1
SgWRX
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Default future of stability control

posting here to get a pro. point of view and the cross over experience between road and track.

with all the stability control systems on suv's that micro-manage braking/accelaration forces at each tire, and with traction control systems, abs, what is the future of road cars and even racing cars?

some day are we going to be able to tweak the handling of our cars by tweaking the control systems?

i'm thinking along the lines (and this is where the pro point of view comes in) that one might argue the quickest lap time would come from USING abs for a newbie driver. you know, let the computer threshold brake so you don't have to think about it.
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Old 09-08-2005, 08:55 PM   #2
racerjon1
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It has been done and so far has been outlawed in F1.. called active suspension. it was big in the early 90s and is some pretty amazing stuff.

In a similar vein, there was some pretty well backed rumors that a couple of years ago before traction control was allowed back that Ferrari had a team of 20 programmers at F1 events and was programming engine management to put down the amount of power the car could deliver at a certian point on track by GPS. As in, Michael just stands on the throttle, the car figures out where it is on earth, and only puts down the amount of power that spot could handle. Settings were tweaked and reprogrammed by the team between sessions for better results.. this is why FIA threw up their hands and allowed traction control, it might be expensive but not as expensive as paying for and transporting programers, military quality GPS.. etc..

To think about tuning with active suspension isn't that hard a concept though, look at what some of us are already doing with standalone EMS, this year I was tuning the engine to affect handling based on throttle %, adjusting timing and such to fit my driving style in the AMS Evo.. if I had the ability to tune with active suspension I would..

Like when cars went from front engine cars to mid engine, and then to cars with wings, and then to downforce.. it will just change the qualities that make a good driver good, but not really take away from the level of difficulty that it takes to compete.

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Old 09-08-2005, 09:14 PM   #3
SgWRX
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Default

yeah that's amazing to think in ferrari's case the driver was more or less along for the ride! i didn't know about that.

one thought i had when i heard about volvo's system which apparently adjusts brake forces at each wheel in sudden lane-change manuvers, couldn't you adjust over-steer / under-steer that way? with a larger rear bar on wrx's, you change the weight transfer which affects the grip. with slight braking, would you be reallocating the economy of grip in a corner thus making the tail end swing around?

but, looking at the big picture, and i don't understand active suspension, as you tweak a car to change the handling are you overall reducing the grip or max. performance. that is to say even with camber changes, if you increase the neg. front camber but not the rear, you're increasing front grip but not the rear. overall if you increased camber both front and rear wouldn't the whole car have more cornering power?

so following that, one might think that a totally active suspension and stability control system would say, make a car pull .90 g's on a skidpad but without it, a skilled driver could pull .95 g's?
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Old 09-08-2005, 10:39 PM   #4
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Depends what the parameters and rules are in the program ... cars could be programed for comfort or performance, etc.

A number of years ago, the German Touring Car Championship cars got to the point where they barely needed the driver ... the cars could be controlled remotely (not steering though) and the "set-Up" could be changed and optimized for each corner. Throttle application could even be automated ... linked to everything that would influence it. They wisely did away with these extreme developments ...
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Old 09-09-2005, 01:40 PM   #5
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I posted this a while ago and it's kinda related because it shows the potential improvements offered by some research, which may or may not ever make it to the mass market...

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=722804
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Old 09-09-2005, 01:46 PM   #6
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Not to stray from the topic, given that this is the motorSPORTs forum, but most mfgr's out there (IMO) are not building cars to perform like race cars. I think they're main focus is on safety and keep joe idiot out of trouble, and that is where you're going to see innovations in active X (steering, braking, throttle, yaw, airbag deployment, accident avoidance, etc.)

While you can easily take these systems and tweak them for racing, I personally don't think that's where the industry is headed. Again, it's one thing to program a car to perform on a circuit, but another thing altogether to keep somebody from unintentially putting themselves into a telephone pole. I think the latter is where you're going to see the future of stability control headed- accident avoidance.
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Old 09-09-2005, 04:11 PM   #7
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i remember seeing something about this on tv. they showed a pale of the stuff and demonstrated dropping a motar-like thing in it. it was pretty neat.

one other thing i remember seeing was a mercedes test vehicle with what looked like variable camber. though, it may have actually been variable caster? the outboard wheel leaned more as the steering wheel was turned.

i suppose in total, given the idiot on the road, we're looking at potentially good things and bad things for road and track cars. scary thing to note, the llatest IS250 apparently has no kill switch for traction/stability control.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leecea
I posted this a while ago and it's kinda related because it shows the potential improvements offered by some research, which may or may not ever make it to the mass market...

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=722804
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Old 09-09-2005, 04:57 PM   #8
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The Competition mode on the Z-06 is pretty cool. I was getting into trouble putting the hammer down too hard on corner exit AX'ing my boss's Super Stock Z-06 with no traction control. The traction control kills power (or activates brakes?) ... but the Competition mode doesn't do traction control ... it does Yaw control by adding a bit of brake on the proper corner. Sort of like left foot braking ... but even more selective. When I would get too sideways ... it seamlessly kept the car from going too far. Immediately took 2 seconds off my time.
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Old 09-10-2005, 01:56 AM   #9
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The Mercedes Active body control system is just about as good as it gets. I won't get too far into the specifics of how it works... but needless to say the end result is quite awesome. Let's say you throw the vehicle into a hard right corner. Before the steering wheel is already where it needs to be for the corner the suspension has already started to drop the right side of the vehicle and raise the left side. End result: The entire chassis leans HARD into corners. The AMG varients use bigger pumps and higher pressures and can react faster with greater suspension travel.

The system also monitors suspension oscillations with huge precision. It can actually anticipate bumps in the road and suck up or extend the suspension as needed to keep chassis movements to a minimum.

It's really spooky to toss a 4500lb vehicle into a hard corner with less drama than a stock STi.

I'm slowly stockpiling Active Body Control components that can be rebuilt. There have already been a few companies that have cracked the code for the mapping in the ABC ECU. End goal is to get a fairly modular version of the system up and running so I can see how a very small and light chassis behaves with it *evil grin*

<-- works for Mercedes
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