The rack force is valuable information for a vehicle dynamics control system, as it relates closely to the road conditions and steering feel. Since there is no direct measurement of rack force in current steering systems, various rack force estimation methods have been proposed to obtain the rack force information. In order to get an accurate rack force estimate, it is important to have knowledge of the steering system friction. However, it is hard to have an accurate value of friction, as it is subject to variation due to operation conditions and material wear. Especially for the widely used column-assisted electric power steering (C-EPAS) system, the load-dependent characteristic of its worm gear friction has a significant effect on rack force estimation. In this paper, a rack force estimation method using a Kalman filter and a load-dependent friction estimation algorithm is introduced, and the effect of C-EPAS friction on rack force estimator performance is investigated. Unlike other rack force estimation methods, which assume that friction is known a priori, the proposed system uses a load-dependent friction estimation algorithm to determine accurate friction information in the steering system, and then a rack force is estimated using the relationship between steering torque and angle. The effectiveness of this proposed method is verified by carsim/simulink cosimulation.

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