A systematic method for the design and evaluation of tractor-semitrailer truck systems and components is presented. The method is general and involves the combination of simulation and optimization techniques to obtain an automated design procedure. An application of the method is given which uses the procedure to evaluate an ideal proportional braking system based on the stability and braking performance of the truck. A quantity which measures the lateral stability of the truck is used to show that ideal proportional braking can produce nearly optimal lateral behavior. The results obtained from the investigation also show that the combined design procedure is an effective method for studying and evaluating complex systems.

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