This paper presents a novel vehicle lateral stability control method based on an estimated lateral stability region on the phase plane of vehicle yaw rate and lateral speed, which is obtained through a local linearization method. Since the estimated stability region does not only describe vehicle local stability, but also define the oversteering and understeering characteristics, the proposed control method can achieve both local stability and vehicle handling stability. Considering the irregular geometric shape of the estimated stability region, a stability analysis algorithm is designed to determine the distance between vehicle states and stability region boundaries. State estimation or measurement errors are also incorporated in the distance calculation. Based on the calculated shortest distance between vehicle states and stability boundaries, a direct yaw moment controller is designed to maintain vehicle states stay within the stability region. CarSim® and Simulink® co-simulation is applied to verify the control design through a cornering maneuver. The simulation results show that the proposed control method can make the vehicle stay within the stability region successfully and thus always operate in a safe manner.

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