A new approach for the design of vehicle subsystems is addressed in the paper. The new approach is based not only on the theory of multi-objective optimisation but also on robust design. The method is characterised both by the optimisation of the objective functions (corresponding to system performance indices) and by the reduction (or minimisation) of the sensitivity (variance) of the performance indices to stochastic perturbations. Such variances are computed (very quickly) by means of an original procedure based on the global approximation of the objective functions. Additionally, with respect to the mentioned features, the new approach is based on both a special study to explore all of the feasible design solutions, and on a global sensitivity procedure to analyse (in a stochastic context) the influence of each design variable on each objective function. Pareto-optimal design solutions for different levels of “robustness” can be computed in a very short time. The optimisation method has been tested on a relatively simple problem and applied with successful results to a complex design problem related to vehicle design.

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