This thesis is focused on individual wheel actuators in road vehicles intended for vehicle motion control. Particular attention is paid to electro-mechanical actuators and how they can contribute to improving vehicle dynamics and safety. The employment of individual wheel actuators at the vehicle's four corner results in a large degree of over-actuation. Over-actuation has a potential of exploiting the vehicle's force constraints at a high level and of controlling the vehicle more freely. One important reason for using over-actuated vehicles is their capability to assist the driver to experience the vehicle as desired. This thesis demonstrates that critical situations close to the limits can be handled more efficiently by over-actuation.
To maximise the vehicle performance, all the available actuators are systematically exploited within their force constraints. Therefore, force constraints for the individually controlled wheel are formulated, along with important restrictions that follow as soon as a reduction in the degrees of freedom of the wheel occurs. Particular focus is directed at non-convex force constraints arising from combined tyre slip characteristics.
To evaluate the differently actuated vehicles, constrained control allocation is employed to control the vehicle. The allocation problem is formulated as an optimisation problem, which is solved by non-linear programming.
To emulate realistic safety critical scenarios, highly over-actuated vehicles are controlled and evaluated by the use of a driver model and a validated complex strongly non-linear vehicle model.
it is shown that, owing to the actuator redundancy, over-actuated vehicles possess an inherent capacity to handle actuator faults, with less need for extra hardware or case-specific fault-handling strategies.