Loss of control accidents result in thousands of fatalities in the United States each year. Production stability control systems are highly effective in preventing these accidents, despite their reliance on a hand-tuned response to data from a small set of sensors. However, improvements in sensing offer opportunities to determine stabilizing actions in a more systematic manner. This paper presents an approach that utilizes the yaw-sideslip phase plane to choose boundaries that eliminate unstable and undesirable driving regimes. These boundaries may be varied to obtain desirable performance and driver acceptance and form the basis for a driver assistance system that augments the driver input to maintain the vehicle within the bounds of a safe handling envelope. Experimental results from a model predictive controller used to enforce the envelope boundaries on a steer-by-wire vehicle are presented to demonstrate the viability of this framework for implementing stability boundaries.

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