The ride comfort of a vehicle is one of the first parameters used to evaluate its performance. Ride comfort has been one of the important research topics since the dawn of the automobile. With the improvement in computational capability, vehicle engineers have modeled vehicles with increasing complexity. Initially vehicles were simplified to quarter car models, where a quarter of the vehicle was modeled with two degrees of freedom (the vertical translation of the sprung and unsprung masses). The “pitch-bounce” model has four degrees of freedom, representing the pitch rotation and vertical translation (bounce) of the vehicle body and chassis and the vertical translation of the front and rear axles and wheels. Finally, with the development of multi-body systems (MBS) software, there is the possibility to model the full vehicle with suspension kinematics and numerous degrees of freedom. The full vehicle model used for this study has 15 unconstrained degrees of freedom and experimentally determined center of mass and inertias. This paper compares the response of a quarter car, pitch-bounce and full vehicle model with the measured response of an actual vehicle.

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