A new smart wheel has been designed and modelled. The smart wheel is able to measure the three forces and the three moments acting at the wheel-ground interface. The wheel is based on an original structural concept and appears to be rather simple to be implemented in future automobiles. The paper presents the concept, the design issues and the performances of such a device. The structural part is composed basically by three spokes whose deformations (depending on the forces applied to the wheel) are sensed by means of strain gauges. The strain gauges signals can be filtered, amplified and digitally converted before they are stored or transmitted to a remote receiver. Multi-Objective Programming has been used to design the system. The optimal values of the smart wheel parameters (stiffness of the three spoke structure, geometry of each spoke and joint shape, strain gauges positions.) have been calculated. A particular joint structure, which do realize the physical link between the three spoke structure (wheel hub) and the wheel rim, is designed by using topology optimization techniques in order to improve the smart wheel performance. The performance of the smart wheel fits well the need of improving the active safety of automobiles. In other terms, the information given by the wheel, allowing to sense the three forces and the three moments, should lead to considerable improvement of the ABS and ESP/VDC performance with respect to today control logics.

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