Published 04/01/2014
Copyright © 2014 SAE International

Tire Model Application and Parameter Identification-A Literature Review
Bin Li
Texas Tech University

Xiaobo Yang
Oshkosh Corp.

James Yang
Texas Tech University

A tire may be one of the most critical and complex components in vehicle dynamics and road loads analyses because it
serves as the only interface between the road surface and the vehicle. Extensive research and development activities
about vehicle dynamics and tire models have been published in the past decades, but it is still not clear about the
applications and parameter identification associated with all of these tire models. In this literature review study, various
published tire models used for vehicle dynamics and road loads analyses are compared in terms of their modeling
approaches, applications and parameters identification process and methodologies. It is hoped that the summary of this
literature review work can help clarify and guide the future research and development direction about tire modeling.

KEYWORDS: Tire model, vehicle dynamics, vehicle handling and stability, ride comfort, road load, parameter identification

CITATION: Li, B., Yang, X., and Yang, J., "Tire Model Application and Parameter Identification-A Literature Review," SAE Int. J.
Passeng. Cars - Mech. Syst. 7(1):2014, doi:10.4271/2014-01-0872.

INTRODUCTION different applications, such as handling and stability analysis,
ride comfort analysis, and road load analysis, etc.
A pneumatic tire is usually the only component interfacing with the
road from a vehicle, thus it plays an important role in the vehicle
In general, we have divided tire models into two groups: the
dynamics system. The pneumatic tire has three fundamental
on-road tire model and the off-road tire model. The on-road one
functions: (i) generating proper forces during vehicle cornering or
refers to the paved road such as the highway and the local city
traction/braking, (ii) absorbing the shock and vibration caused by
roads with hard surfaces; while the off-road case refers to the
road irregularity, and (iii) supporting the vehicle weight on various
road which is unpaved such as sand, mud, snow road. The main
terrains (Wong, 2001). From this point of view, it can be concluded
purposes for tire models to be used for driving/braking and
that the design of a pneumatic tire is vital to vehicle performance.
handling analysis are to predict the longitudinal force during
To achieve a proper tire design that meets all three function
braking/traction and/or the lateral force and self-align torque
requirements, it is essential to understand the tire dynamics
during cornering at on-road situation. For these types of analyses,
characteristics experimentally and/or analytically. Experimental
the road is usually assumed to be flat and rigid and the tire model
approach is ultimately considered to be necessary, direct and
is required to be valid up to around 8 Hz (Pacejka and Bakker,
reliable, but expensive, time consuming and practically impossible
1992). In general, two approaches were employed to construct
to cover all operating conditions. Alternatively, analytical method
this type of tire models: the analytical approach and the empirical
via modeling and simulation becomes more and more popular for
approach (Pacejka, 2005). Brush model is one of the earliest
its significant advantages in many ways.
analytical tire models, and it is an origin of many other analytical
models, e.g. Fiala's theory (Fiala, 1954), Pacejak's physical-based
Like any other virtual models, the accuracy and predictability of
analytical model (Pacejka and Sharp, 1991), Gim's analytical
a tire model is most important. Ideally if one tire model could be
model (Gim and Nikravesh, 1990; 1991), Levin's tire model
applied accurately for all operating conditions, it would be
(Levin, 1994) and CF-SAT system model (Miyashita and Kabe,
highly accepted by users. Unfortunately such an “ideal” tire
2005). Other important analytical tire models include Sakai's tire
model may not be viable in engineering practice. Therefore in
model (Sakai, 1981), Sharp's multi-radial-spoke tire model (Sharp
the past decades, various tire models have been developed for
232 Li et al / SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars - Mech. Syst. / Volume 7, Issue 1 (May 2014)

and El-Nashar, 1986), Mastinu's FEM tire model (Maustinu and field/lab test data for parameter identification to facilitate tire
Fainello, 1992), and Maurice pragmatic tire model (Maurice et al., model users to use these data.
1999). As for the empirical tire models, Pacejka's Magic Formula
tire model (Pacejaka and Besselink, 1992) is the most popular TIRE MODEL APPLICATIONS
one and is still undergoing development. The latest version of MF
In this section, we divide all available tire models into three
tire model isTNO MF-SWIFT (Schmeitz et al., 2007; Besselink et
groups based on their applications. For each group of tire
al., 2010). Other empirical tire models include TMeasy tire model
models, we compare their application limitations, advantages
(Hirschberg et al., 2002) and Svendentius's Semi-empirical tire
and disadvantages, simulation time, accuracy, how easy to
model (Svendentius and Gafvert, 2006). The handling and
diverge, how easy to model.
stability type of tire modeling has been well developed and the
models can satisfy all requirements for almost all actual situations
Tire Models for Handling and Stability Analysis
in terms of accuracy and efficiency.
In this section, we reviewed various tire models suitable for the
The second group of tire models is the ride comfort tire models. handling and stability analysis, and compare them as shown in
The major concern is the human comfort and the tire acts as a Table 1. As we discussed before, the main purpose for handling
filter which is able to absorb the shock generated by the obstacle and stability analysis model is to analyze the longitudinal/lateral
between the road and tire. Human body sensitive frequency range force and self-align torque due to longitudinal/lateral slip and tire
is less than 20 Hz (ISO 2631-1, 1997). Therefore, this type of tire deformation in both steady state case and the non-steady state
models has to be valid up to around 20 Hz. In particular, we case. The tire models we summarized covers almost all the
mainly pay attention on vertical direction forces for ride comfort situations for handling and stability analysis including the pure
study. Related research work includes Bandel's ‘black box’ model steady slip case, combined steady slip case, and the combined
(Bandel and Monguzzi, 1988), Takayama's tire model (Takayama non-steady state case. In general, the empirical tire models, e.g.
and Yamagishi, 1984), Oertel's model (Oertel, 1997), Elchler's ride TMeasy Tire Model (Hirschberg and Weinfurter, 2002), etc., can
comfort tire model (Eichler, 1997). More recent ride comfort tire accurately predict the tire behavior for standard handling
models include Belluzzo's road-noise model (Belluzzo et al., analysis case. However, they cannot handle the large slip or
2002), Kim's 2D analytical tire model (Kim et al., 2007), Hegazy's high tire deformation cases. Meanwhile, the analytical approach
quarter and half vehicle model (Hegazy and Sandu, 2010) and tire models, e.g. CF-SAT System Model (Miyashita and Kabe,
Diglio's rack model (Diglio, 2009). This type of tire models can 2005), etc., are more consistent between the steady state case
also satisfy requirements in terms of accuracy and efficiency. and non-steady state case. However, their accuracy is low
compared with the empirical tire models (Reinalter et al., 2007).
Tire models for load analysis are typically more complex. This
type of models is required to be valid up to around 50 Hz In Table 1, sixteen tire models used for handling and stability
(Zegelaar and Pacejka, 1996) and is primarily applied for analysis are summarized and compared. Among these tire
predicting the vehicle durability road loads. In this case, forces at models, the following models can be applied only for purely
all three directions (longitudinal, lateral and vertical) should be steady state situation, and the rest models can be applied for
studied. Tire models used for load analysis include Mousseau's both steady state and transient state situation: Fiala's theory
rigid on elastic foundation model (Mousseau and Clark, 1994), (Fiala, 1954), Sakai's tire model (Saikai, 1981), analytical tire
Zegelaar's rigid ring model and flexible ring model (Zegelaar and model (Gim et al., 1990, 1991), physical based analytical model
Pacejka, 1996) and Kao's BAT Tire Model (Kao, 2000). In (Pacejka and Sharp, 1991), Levin's model (Levin, 1994), TMeasy
particular, since tire models for road load analysis have higher tire model (Hirschberg and Weinfurter, 2002), CF-SAT system
valid frequency, this type of tire models can also handle the ride model (Miyashita and Kabe, 2005), friction model (Velenis, 2005)
comfort situation. Four powerful commercial tire models which and Ph.An.Ty.M.H.A tire model (Capone et al., 2009). Among all
can be used for both ride comfort and durability cases are the steady state tire models, Fiala's theory (Fiala, 1954), TMeasy
MF-SWIFT (Lugner et al., 2005), RMOD-K tire model (Oertel tire model (Hirschberg and Weinfurter, 2002), and CF-SAT
and Fandre, 1999), FTire (Gipser, 2005) and CDTire (Gallrein system model (Miyashita and Kabe, 2005) are only valid at pure
and Backer, 2007). However, the accuracy of current available slip situation. And the rest steady state tire models can be used
tire models is only around 85% (Gallrein and Backer, 2007) and for combined slip situation. The following models are based on
some of models are difficult to determine models' parameters. the ‘brush concept’ include: the Fiala's theory (Fiala, 1954),
analytical tire model (Gim et al., 1990, 1991), physical based
Based on above discussions, various tire models for three types analytical model (Pacejka and Sharp, 1991), Levin's model
of applications have been proposed during the past 4 decades. (Levin, 1994), and CF-SAT system model (Miyashita and Kabe,
However, few studies can be found in literature about the 2005). The accuracies for most tire models are satisfactory
summary of various tire models' advantages, disadvantages, except Fiala's theory (Fiala, 1954). However, Fiala's theory (Fiala,
accuracy, efficiency, parameter identification. Therefore, it is 1954) is very important since many tire models are developed
difficult to select appropriate tire models for specific applications. based on this theory. As for the computational loads, the multi-
This paper attempts to summarize these characteristics for radial-spoke tire model (Sharp and EI-Nashar, 1986; Zhou et al.,
various tire models based on their applications and parameter 1999) is the only one which has high computational costs among
identification. In additional, this paper aims to collect all available all the summarized handling analysis tire models due to its
multi-spoke modeling approach.
Li et al / SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars - Mech. Syst. / Volume 7, Issue 1 (May 2014) 233

Table 1. Comparison among various tire models used primarily for handling and stability analysis
234 Li et al / SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars - Mech. Syst. / Volume 7, Issue 1 (May 2014)

Table 1 (cont).

Tire Models for Ride Comfort Analysis for ride comfort analysis is to locate the idealized contact point
In this section, various tire models suitable for ride comfort and to properly describe the tire filtering properties (Reinalter
analysis are reviewed and the comparison is shown in Table 2. et al., 2007). In general, driver/passenger ride comfort is
Ride comfort tire models should be able to accurately capture dominantly associated with the vehicle pitch plane motion.
the tire/road interactions that are the major contributing factors Thus, 2D (In-plane) tire models are sufficient for ride comfort
to human perception about vehicle ride comfort. The key point analysis.
Li et al / SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars - Mech. Syst. / Volume 7, Issue 1 (May 2014) 235

In Table 2, we have summarized nine tire models which can be models include the road-noise model (Belluzzo et al., 2002),
applied for ride comfort analysis. Most of the tire models have 2D analytical tire model (Kim et al., 2008), and the rack model
relatively low computational costs except Oertel's model (Digio, 2009). Both ‘black-box’ model (Bandel and Monguzzi,
(Oertel, 1997), road-noise model (Belluzzo et al., 2002) and 1988) and road-noise model (Belluzzo et al., 2002) are valid up
rack model (Digio, 2009). The relatively higher accurate tire to 100 Hz.

Table 2. Comparison among various tire models used primarily for ride comfort analysis
236 Li et al / SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars - Mech. Syst. / Volume 7, Issue 1 (May 2014)

Table 2 (cont).

Tire Models for Road Loads Analysis In Table 3, eleven tire models used for road load analysis are
In this section, various tire models suitable for road load summarized. The tire models with relatively short simulation
analysis are reviewed and the comparison is given in Table 3. time include Mousseau's model (Mousseau and Hilbert, 1996),
The road loads analysis tire models are mainly used to predict Kao's BAT tire model (Kao, 2000), MF-SWIFT tire model
the durability loads as discussed before. The basic requirement (Lugner and Pacejka, 2005), FTire (Gipser, 2005), and
for this type of tire models is that they can accurately predict ABAQUS-based surrogate tire model (Ardeh, 2011). The tire
the longitudinal, lateral and vertical forces at various road models which are accurate up to 100 Hz include the RMOD-K
conditions. These forces are the sources of loads to vehicle tire model (Oertel and Fandre, 1999), FTire (Gipser, 2005), and
body and are the basis for the damage calculation and CD-tire (Gallrein and Backer, 2007). The tire models used for
durability analysis (Reinalter et al., 2007). Currently, many road 3D road load analysis include the RMOD-K tire model (Oertel
loads tire models only focus on 2D (in-plane) dynamics, in and Fandre, 1999), Kao's BAT tire model (Kao, 2000), MF-
which case only longitudinal and vertical forces are predicted. SWIFT (Lugner and Pacejka, 2005), FTire (Gipser, 2005), and
However, the 2D road loads analysis tire models are only CD tire (Gallrein and Backer, 2007). Yang and Xu (Yang and
applicable when an obstacle is perpendicular to the wheel Xu, 2011) discuss the validation process from tire model
travel direction. When the oriented direction of the obstacle is parameterization to full vehicle model simulation, present the
uncertain, we have to consider the 3D (out-of-plane) road loads tire load correlation between prediction with CDTire model and
tire modeling (Kao, 1997). measurement.

Table 3. Comparison among various tire models used primarily for road loads analysis
Li et al / SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars - Mech. Syst. / Volume 7, Issue 1 (May 2014) 237

Table 3 (cont).
238 Li et al / SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars - Mech. Syst. / Volume 7, Issue 1 (May 2014)

Table 3 (cont).

Tire Model Parameterizations conducted a survey on the parameter identification methods for
vehicle models. In his paper, various parameter identification
Tire parameters include tire geometry parameters, tire structure
methods, including the model adjustment techniques, least
parameters, and tire ground parameters (Oertel and Fandre,
square and related explicit methods, transformation of the
1999). Tire geometry parameters can be obtained directly from
measured signals, transformation of the model and the
the tire design. For the other two types of parameters, several
covariance methods, were discussed in detail. He also showed
approaches can be applied to determine their values. The first
an example to identify the parameters of a passenger car by
approach, which is fairly easy, is to compute these parameters
using covariance methods. For Mousseau and Clark (1994)
from the known geometry parameter based on geometrical
REF tire model, the circumferential tread stiffness was
methods. The second approach is to acquire these parameters
obtained by cutting a specimen out of the tire and the tread
from various standard experimental tests including the lab tests
shear stiffness was obtained by measuring the flat surface and
and road tests. Wheel force transducers (WFT) are commonly
knife edge stiffness for different inflation pressures. Bruni et al.
used to measure the forces and moments between spindle and
(1997) identified the parameters of the rigid ring tire model by
tire for vehicle road test simulation (Xu et al., 2005; 2006; and
minimizing the difference between the experimental natural
2008), tire model parameterizations, and road load analysis
frequencies and damping factors. Hirschberg et al. (2002)
(Yang and Xu, 2011). Because this approach is time
acquired the parameters for their TMeasy model by conducting
consuming and expensive, the goal is to reduce experimental
the lab experiments. Vanture et al. (2003) estimated the
tests in the future. The final approach is based on the virtual
dynamic parameters of a car based on weighted least squares
simulations of Finite Element Tire (FET) models.
method. Ortiz et al. (2005) obtained the parameters for Gim
and Nikravesh's analytical tire model from IMMa tire test
Laboratory Test bench. In Table 4, we have collected all raw data for tire model
In this section, we summarize various parameters identification parameter identifications from the literature.
method based on laboratory tests. Kallenbach (1987)
Li et al / SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars - Mech. Syst. / Volume 7, Issue 1 (May 2014) 239

Table 4. Various raw data for tire model identifications based on lab tests

Field Test parameters identification. Russo et al. (2000) employed
In this section, various raw data for tire model parameter extended nonlinear Kalman filter method to identify the
identifications based on field tests are presented. Gim et al. parameters of a classic quadricycle tire model. Fan and Guan
(1991) obtained the parameters for their analytical tire model (2003) obtained the tire modal parameters from single point
from the experiments. Moreover, he also provided the friction excitation experiments. Muller et al. (2009) presented a system
parameters for different terrains. Ammon (1992) formulated a identification method for tire model parameters identification,
more general surface model and also identified the model's and verified their method by applying it on a 7-DOF model of a
parameters based on the extended unevenness model. host vehicle. In Table 5, we have collected various raw data for
Zegelaar and Pacejka (1996) conducted modal analysis tire model parameter identifications.
experiments on the road for their rigid ring tire model
240 Li et al / SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars - Mech. Syst. / Volume 7, Issue 1 (May 2014)

Table 5. Various raw data for tire model identifications based on field tests

FEA Method tire. Then he studied the tire on-road rolling and the off-road
Finite element analysis is a powerful tool for tire parameter vibration transmission based on the ring model. Finally, he
identification because it provides a detailed description of tire validated the model by experimental modal analysis. Kao and
behavior over actual operation conditions. The factors Muthurishnan (1997) employed an explicit FE program denoted
described by FEA method include the tire geometry, material as LS-DYNA3D to predict the transient tire behavior. The FE
properties, the dynamic properties and structure components model was constructed based on the tire design data. A strain
properties, etc. Many researches have been conducted related energy function was used to describe the carcass properties
to the FET modeling as well as parameter identifications based and the Mooney constitutive law was used to describe the
on virtual tests of FET models. rubber properties. They concluded that the FET model is
reasonable to predict the transient tire behavior by comparing
Gong (1993) provided a comprehensive analysis of the inplane the simulation results with actual experimental results.
tire behavior based on FEM. He first built the ring model of a Olatunbosun and Burke (2002) presented a detailed
Li et al / SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars - Mech. Syst. / Volume 7, Issue 1 (May 2014) 241

description regarding to the techniques and strategies for FET different applications of the tire models, we divide them into
modeling. They discussed several modeling issues: non-linear three groups: tire models for handling analysis, tire models for
effects during tire inflation, hub loading, tire-road contact, and ride comfort analysis and tire models for durability analysis.
solutions of tire equation of motion. The problems of the tire/ Accuracy and efficiency are two important factors for tire
ground contact modeling were solved by slide-line contact models. Based on the discussion in this paper, the accuracy of
analysis. The effectiveness of the strategies was verified by tire models for road load analysis, ride and handling
cleat tests. Negrus et al. (1997) investigated the natural performance predictions still needs to improve. Accordingly, a
frequencies and mode shapes of a non-rotating tire by using more efficient and practical viable method to identify tire model
finite element analysis and experimental analysis. The FET parameters is highly needed for applications.
model consists of 210 carcass shell elements, 90 treadband
shell elements, and 270 rubber solid elements. The results
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Li et al / SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars - Mech. Syst. / Volume 7, Issue 1 (May 2014) 243

James Yang, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX 79409

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