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Journal of Computational Information Systems 8: 1 (2012) 6572 Available at http://www.Jofcis.


Eects and Solution of Electric Power Steering System on Vehicle Handling Stability
Huaiquan ZANG , Jia GENG
Key Lab of Industrial Computer Control Engineering of Hebei Province, Institute of Electrical and Engineering, Yanshan University, Qinhuangdao 066004, China

Abstract To research the eects of electric power steering (EPS) system on vehicle handling stability and to improve it, this paper derives the expressions of road feeling and steering sensitivity, regards which as the performance targets that estimates the vehicle handling stability in addition. Finally, a dynamic compensation controller is presented for the EPS system. The simulation results show the compensated EPS system takes account of a good steering feeling and a rapid response of steering sensitivity. Its handing stability is better than the EPS vehicle which only considers the power eect. Keywords: Vehicle Handling Stability; Road Feeling; Steering Sensitivity; Electric Power Steering System


Electric Power Steering (EPS) system is a new power steering technology. Various studies have been conducted in relation to EPS system, but these studies just concentrate on the stability of the EPS system or the control itself [1, 2, 3], very little paper is made to analyze the eect of EPS system on vehicle handling stability. However EPS provides both steering handiness and optimum steering feeling, the introduction of motor results in dierences about the dynamic performances of vehicle. Therefore, EPS system and the vehicle should be studied as a whole control system. This paper analyzes these eects and a dynamic compensation controller structure is proposed.


Dynamic Model
EPS structure and principle

EPS system is shown in Fig 1, mainly consisting of a torque sensor, a speed sensor, electric control unit (ECU), an assist motor and a reduction gear.

Project supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (No. 50237020). Corresponding author. Email address: (Huaiquan ZANG).

15539105/ Copyright January 2012

2012 Binary Information Press


H. Zang et al. /Journal of Computational Information Systems 8: 1 (2012) 6572

When driver turns steering wheel, the torque sensor will estimate input torque and communicate with ECU. ECU receives signal from the speed sensor at the same time. Then ECU directs the motor to accurately deliver the required assisting steering torque. The assisting steering torque is transmitted to the steering shaft through the electromagnetic clutch and reduction gear.

Fig. 1: Electric power steering system


EPS mathematical model

For analyzing conveniently, the EPS model is simplied appropriately [4]. The mathematical model as follows: Jh h = Th Ks (h p ) Bh h . (1) Ts = Ks (h p ) . ( ) Ta = G1 Tm Jm m Bm m . m = G1 p . p = G2 f . Jr p = Ts + Ta Tr Br p . Tm = Ka I. (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)

Where Jh is the assembly rotary inertia of steering wheel and input shaft; Jm is the equivalent rotary inertia of power motor armature shaft and reducer driving gear; Jr is the equivalent rotary inertia of steering mechanism and front tire; h , p , m and f indicate the steering wheel angle, the steering pinion angle, the power armature shaft angle and the front tire angle, respectively; Th , Ts , Tm , Ta and Tr are the input torque of steering wheel, the measured value of the torque sensor, the input torque of power motor and the actual assisting torque, the steering resistance torque equivalent to the steering shaft, respectively; Ks and Ka are the rigidity coecient of twisting rod, the motor electromagnetic torque coecient, respectively; Bh , Bm , Br represent the damping coecient of steering input shaft, the damping coecient of motor armature shaft, the equivalent damping coecient of steering mechanism and front tire, respectively; G1 and G2 indicate the reduction ratio from motor to steering shaft, the reduction ratio from steering pinion to front tire, respectively; I is the motor current.

H. Zang et al. /Journal of Computational Information Systems 8: 1 (2012) 6572


The motor current is proportional to the measured value of torque sensor in this paper. It is given by I = KTs = KKs (h p ) . (8)

But taking into account the eects of the motor inertia, damping and friction, a compensatory current is added to the motor current. The compensated current is modeled as: I = KTs + Kj m Kd m = KKs (h p ) + Kj m Kd m . (9)

Where K is the ratio coecient; Kf is the compensatory coecient of motor inertia; Kd is the compensatory coecient of motor damping. The control strategy that the motor current is compensated properly which is a corrective control algorithm within the function of assisting torque. It is an additional correction of the output torque of motor which bases on the basic assisting control and can overcome the eects of the motor inertia, damping and friction on the output torque of motor.


Vehicle model of two-degree of freedom

For analyzing the basic characteristics of vehicle handling stability, the single track model is used. In the analytical process, we ignore the impacts of steering system, suspension system and aerodynamics drag etc, and consider the vehicle just includes two degree of freedom which are lateral motion and yaw motion. Besides, the lateral acceleration is limited to less than 0.4g, so the cornering property of tire is in the linear range. The single track model is shown in Fig.2.

Fig. 2: Electric power steering system The dynamics equations are {

1 (Kf + Kr ) + u (aKf bKr ) r + mu ( + r ) = Kf f 1 (aKf bKr ) + u (a2 Kf + b2 Kr ) r + Jz r = aKf f


These equations indicate the most important parameters which can reect the basic characteristics of curvilinear motion. Where a is the distance from the center of mass of the car to the front axle; b is the distance to the rear axle; d is the kingpin oset of the front tires; r is the yaw rate; is the slip angle of the center of mass; is the slip angle of the front tire; f is the rotation angle of front tire; Jz is the moment of inertia of the car around Z axis; u is the forward component of the vehicle rate; m is the quality of car; Kf and Kr are the front and rear tire cornering coecients, respectively; F y1 and F y2 are the front and rear tire cornering forces.


H. Zang et al. /Journal of Computational Information Systems 8: 1 (2012) 6572

Road Feeling Expression and Steering Sensitivity Function

Road feeling expression


Under normal driving condition, the steering system keeps transferring the impression of the contact conditions between the tires and road to the hand wheel, then the driver will feel the force feedback. This is what called road feeling. It is considered to be a very important factor because it acts directly on the drivers hands and the driver determines his/her actions based on this force. For studying the road feeling, we propose a method the steering wheel was set in a xed mode. The mode corresponds to the actual driving conditions that the driver is holding the steering wheel tightly. This method could eectively analyze the dynamic properties of steering system [5]. When the wheel set with a xed mode, the mathematical model of the hand wheel as Th = Ts = Ks p . By formula (7), the transfer function from the steering resistance torque to the steering wheel torque can be obtained as: Th Ks = . 2 2 + (B + G2 B + G2 K K ) S + K + KG K K G K K Tr (Jr + G1 Jm ) S r s 1 a s 1 a d 1 m 1 a j (11)


The steering resistance torque expression

When the lateral acceleration is limited to less than 0.4g, the tire slip angle is less than 5, the tire cornering forces and the slip angle are a linear relationship. The slip angle is available according to analyze the geometry in the Fig 2. It is modeled as: = f r a/u . Finally, we can get the steering resistance torque acting on the steering pinion as: ( Kf d f
(r a) u

Tr =

) . (12)



The steering sensitivity function

The steering sensitivity function is a transfer function which is from the steering wheel to the yaw rate. It is the best state variable describing the vehicle handling stability. By analyzing the transient and steady-state responses of the steering sensitivity, we can know how fast the car response to the drivers order, how much error on executing the instruction and how serious the uctuation with the yaw motion etc. The steering sensitivity is regarded as an important indicator which studies the vehicle handling stability in this paper. The transfer function from steering wheel to yaw rate can be obtained according to combine the EPS system and the vehicle model of a two-degree of freedom. Firstly, the dynamic model will make a Laplace transform under zero initial condition. By deducting, the transfer functions

H. Zang et al. /Journal of Computational Information Systems 8: 1 (2012) 6572


from the tire steering angle to the slip angle and to the yaw rate as follows: [ ] (s) = G = Kf Jz S + b(a+b) Kr amu
f (s) r (s) f (s) f


den(s) Kf den(s)


[amuS + (a + b) Kr ]

1 Where den(s) = muJz S 2 +[m (a2 Kf + b2 Kr ) + Jz (Kf + Kr )] S+ u (a + b)2 Kf Kr mu (aKf bKr ).

By (12) and (13), another expression of the steering resistance torque is got: ) ( a Kf d 1 u Gfr Gf Tr (s) r . = GTf = f (s) G2 By (3)(8), the transfer function from steering angle to steering pinion angle is got as: p (s) Ks + KG1 Ka Ks = Gp = . h h (s) JS 2 + BS + G
r WhereJ = Jr + G2 Jm ;B = Br + G2 Bm + G2 Ka Kj ;G = Ks + KG1 Ka Ks G1 Ka Kd + GTf . 1 1 1



Finally, steering sensitivity function can be obtained according to combine (6), (13) and (15): r (s) r (s) f (s) p (s) 1 r p = = G G . h (s) f (s) p (s) h (s) G2 f h (16)


Simulation Results Analyze and Dynamic Compensation Controller Design

Simulation results analyze

The vehicle speed is 25 km/h under the simulation environment. The road feeling and steering sensitivity were simulated by using Matlab as shown in Fig 3 and Fig 4. When the steering wheel is set in a xed mode, the xed torque of the steering wheel response to a resistance torque is shown in Fig 3. Three contrastive curves respectively correspond to the no assisting control, the assisting current with proportional control and with compensated control. It is observed that the mechanical steering vehicle with no assisting control has a higher steadystate value which measured by the torque sensor, a longer regulating time and a bigger overshoot. These simulation results correspond to a shimmy motion of the steering wheel which will cause driver fatigue. With adopting the proportional current, the xed torque reduced obviously, and the overshoot was smaller, but still existing a longer regulating time. While the xed torque response with compensated current minimized the overshoot, moreover, the regulating time was largely decreased. According to the comparison of three unit-step response curves, we learn it is not appropriate to determine the motor current only by the ratio coecient, the current compensation control shows the best result, this control strategy not only can fulll the assisting eect, but also improve the steering feeling. Fig 4 indicates the time-domain response of the yaw rate with a unit-step input of the steering wheel. The contrastive method is still used to analyze the dierent responses. It is observed that


H. Zang et al. /Journal of Computational Information Systems 8: 1 (2012) 6572

Fig. 3: Step response of the xed torque

Fig. 4: Step response of the steering sensitivity

with no assisting control both the steady-state value and overshoot of yaw rate are big, and the response is uctuant. It is noted that the use of proportional control reduces the steady-state value, but lengthens the regulating time and results in a delayed response. The EPS system is very dierent from the mechanical steering system on dynamic property because the EPS system increases torque sensor, power motor and gear box [7, 8]. When the current adopts the compensation control, the regulating time was decreased largely and the overshoot is in a reasonable range, but the response of yaw rate lagged severely.

Fig. 5: Step response of the xed torque Fig 5 is the amplitude-frequency characteristics of the steering sensitivity function. It can be seen that there are two resonance peaks, one caused by natural frequency of the yaw rate and the other caused by steering system with no assisting control. There is also a big resonance peak at 3Hz with proportional control, the yaw rate response to the steering wheel will be sensitive greatly when drivers handling frequency is close to these range of frequency, and this condition is likely to cause the car to go out of control. When using the compensation control, the amplitude ratio and the phase dierence of the steering sensitivity function remain the same before 0.5Hz. But when the handling frequency is higher than 1 Hz, the amplitude ratio begins to attenuate quickly, the phase dierence also starts to increase and the response of steering sensitivity is worse. All of above corresponds to a delayed response. From the above analyzes, we can see that the compensation current control enables light steering loan and also improves road feeling, but it results in a negative impact on the vehicle handling stability. Therefore, a controller should be designed to achieve a rapid response of the steering sensitivity [9].

H. Zang et al. /Journal of Computational Information Systems 8: 1 (2012) 6572



Dynamic compensation controller design

In classical control theory, the lead correction, lag correction and lag-lead correction based on the frequency characteristics of transfer function model are used eectively in a variety of dierent systems. All of them can improve the relative stability of systems [10]. For vehicle handling stability, the EPS system requires both a rapid response and a good steady-state accuracy. The expected performances of system can be described as follows: when frequency is lower than 1Hz, the gain of amplitude characteristics should be large enough, the amplitude-frequency curve should be at, the phase dierence is close to zero; when frequency within 1 and 3Hz, the resonance peak of system should be as small as possible, the resonant frequency and bandwidth should be as large as possible; the system gain should attenuate as soon as possible in the high frequency. From the frequency characteristics of yaw rate with compensation current control in Fig 5, we learn that the lead correction should be used before 2Hz to reduce the phase lag angle and widen the response bandwidth. At the same time the lag correction should be used to reduce the resonance peak, thereby the system gain attenuates at the high frequency as soon as possible. By systematically analyzing the amplitude-frequency characteristics of steering sensitivity, we obtain the lead-lag compensator as follows: Gc (s) = G1 (s) G2 (s) . Where G1 (s) =
0.01S+1 ;G2 S+1

(S) =

0.2S+1 . 0.017S+1

Fig. 6: Amplitude-frequency characteristic

Fig. 7: Step response of dynamic compensation

Fig 6 shows the amplitude-frequency characteristics of steering sensitivity function after adopting the lead-lag compensator. We can see that the amplitude ratio and phase dierence keep at basically until the frequency reaches 3 Hz, and the band-pass of system is wider than the compensation current controls. This linear relationship provides a better response between the yaw rate and the steering wheel. The yaw rate response to high frequency interference attenuates rapidly when the frequency is larger than 3Hz. These good amplitude-frequency characteristics ensure a rapid and exact response that the yaw rate response to the drivers steering instruction. The steering sensitivity with lead-lag compensator achieves a faster response too. This rapid response and the shrunken phase lag angle conrm each other. Therefore, both the amplitude-


H. Zang et al. /Journal of Computational Information Systems 8: 1 (2012) 6572

frequency characteristics and transient response of the corrected steering sensitivity have been greatly improved.


In this paper, we have analyzed the eect of EPS system on road feeling and vehicle steering sensitivity, and have designed a dynamic compensator. The simulation results show that the driver can obtain light steering and satisfying road feeling when EPS system uses the compensation current method. But the EPS system causes a negative impact on the vehicle steering sensitivity, such as the slower vehicle yaw rate response to the steering angle and the narrower band-pass of amplitude-frequency characteristics of the steering sensitivity, both of which are bad for the handling stability. According to the act of contrasting, the dynamic compensation control shortened the response time of yaw rate. The whole vehicle system achieved a balance between the steering handiness, the good road feeling and the handling stability.

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