Current research within the automotive community suggests an increasing trend in applying mechatronic actuators for improved ride and handling. In particular, there is an increasing trend towards semi-active and active suspension actuators. This research presents various novel suspension control strategies specific to handling by building upon a control allocation type framework. Such a framework is common in the aerospace and marine industries due its multi-objective control properties, suitability for over-actuated systems, the ease in which nonlinear or time-varying properties are included, in addition to many other benefits. Control allocation is becoming increasingly more appropriate for automotive applications due to the increasing trend in applying mechatronic actuators for improved ride and handling.
Specifically, this paper develops methods for improving yaw rate with active suspension actuators. It will be shown that this task is nontrivial within an allocation framework due to properties of the physical system. By using the methods developed in this paper, it becomes trivial to incorporate this and other handling related methods into a larger and more integrated framework with a higher number of control objectives and actuators. The methods in this paper take advantage of the complicated dynamics and inherent nonlinear relationship between suspension actuator forces and resultant tire lateral forces. It is demonstrated through simulation that a vehicle with the proposed allocation framework outperforms a vehicle with no suspension actuation. Different methods are evaluated and compared based on stability and robustness properties.