This paper is concerned with the detection of an incipient tractor jackknife of a tractor-semitrailer truck and with corrective action which can be taken after the onset of jackknifing has been sensed. An approach termed local linearization is used to define tractor jackknifing in a quantitative manner. Local linearization is then used to evaluate a second approach, termed side force-slip angle combination. This side force-slip angle combination is employed to study three forms of automatic corrective action that involve braking of the vehicle. The results obtained indicate that local linearization provides an adequate definition of the onset of jackknifing. The results also indicate that the side force-slip angle combination is useful in sensing the onset of a tractor kackknife. Through the use of approximations, the side force-slip angle combination can be implemented in a real vehicle—this implementation is found to require only simple measurements. The results of the corrective action study indicate that a certain anti-skid braking procedure may be effective in the prevention of an incipient jackknife.

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