Authors: Daniel E. Williams
Addresses: ZF TRW Active & Passive Safety Technology, Global Commercial Steering Systems, P.O. Box 60, Lafayette, IN 47902, USA
Abstract: This paper presents a new means of steering redundancy for autonomous three-axle vehicles that also cost effectively increases vehicle functionality. Functional enhancements to increase manoeuvrability and decrease tyre wear are already appreciated in niche vehicle markets and are reviewed in this work. Steering the rear axle to provide redundancy in event of a primary steering axle failure has recently been suggested. This prior work is built upon to present a new three-axle vehicle configuration that improves manoeuvrability, increases payload capacity, and provides better redundant directional control while maintaining the tyre wear improvements existing in rear axle steer vehicles. Some of these same benefits could be achieved by steering the rear of a two-axle vehicle, but it is shown that the concept creates more value when applied to three-axle vehicles thereby uniquely improving the value proposition for autonomous commercial vehicles.
Keywords: autonomous vehicles; commercial vehicles; rear axle steer.
International Journal of Vehicle Autonomous Systems, 2017 Vol.13 No.4, pp.261 - 273
Received: 19 Nov 2015
Accepted: 23 Sep 2016
Published online: 03 Oct 2017 *