This paper presents an automated design synthesis approach for articulated heavy vehicles (AHVs) with active trailer steering (ATS) systems. AHVs have poor maneuverability when traveling at low speeds. Moreover, AHVs exhibit unstable motion modes at high speeds. To address the problem of maneuverability, ‘passive’ trailer steering systems have been developed. These systems improve low-speed performance, but feature with low lateral stability at high speeds. Some ATS systems have been proposed to improve highspeed lateral stability. However, these systems typically degrade maneuverability when applied at low speeds. To tackle this conflicting design problem, a systematic method is proposed for the design of AHVs with ATS systems. This new design method has the following features: the optimal active design variables of the ATS systems and the optimal passive design variables of the vehicle are identified in a single design loop; in the design process, to evaluate the vehicle performance measures, a driver model is introduced and it ‘drives’ the vehicle model based on the well-defined testing specifications. Through the design optimization of an ATS system for an AHV with a tractor and a full trailer, this single design loop (SDL) method is compared against a published two design loop (TDL) method. The benchmark investigation shows that the former can determine better trade-off design solutions than those derived by the latter. This SDL method provides an effective approach to automatically implement the design synthesis of AHVs with ATS systems.

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