Links between Subjective Assessments and Objective Metrics for Steering

University essay from KTH/Fordonsdynamik

Abstract: The characteristics of vehicle steering perception are decisive factors concerning vehicle safety and overall pleasure behind the wheel. It is a challenge for vehicle manufacturers to achieve these features and qualities, because usually vehicle tuning almost only relies on subjective evaluation of test drivers, which is costly and time consuming. In order to optimize suspension design and develop a tool that can be used to evaluate steering with objective metrics instead of subjective assessment, links between them must be confirmed. In this master thesis, both objective and subjective testing data of over 20 vehicles across four different segments are introduced in linear and nonlinear analysis. Linear regression analysis is applied to investigate simply positive or negative correlation between a pair of subjective-objective parameters. However, even if certain linear correlations are obtained, it is still hard to define the optimal value for objective metrics. Considering that the general shape of a correlation function can reveal which objective range give higher subjective rating, it is possible to define these preferred ranges with Neural Network (NN). The best data available is adopted from three drivers who tested 15 sedans, and some interesting results are found. The initial results demonstrate that NN is a powerful tool to uncover and graphically illustrate the links between objective metrics and subjective assessments, i.e., the specific range leading to better steering feel. Given a larger sample size, more reliable and optimal links can be defined by following the same method. These confirmed links would enable vehicle dynamics engineers to more effectively develop new vehicles with nearly perfect steering feel.

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