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Measurement and optimization of driveability in the vehicle and on the dynamic test bed
Published September 03, 1998 by AVL List GmbH in Australia
The term driveability describes the driver's complex subjective perception of the interactions between human and vehicle. A positive feeling creates confidence and safety and is an essential prerequisite for driving pleasure and driving experience, which both constitute important purchase criteria.
This paper describes ADT (AVL Driveability Technology), a new process for objectifying and optimizing vehicle driveability. Some of the variables affecting driveability, characteristic criteria and driver-specific differences will be discussed. Two hundred and seventy driveability-related criteria have been defined for the powertrain alone, while the average driver is only able to assess a maximum of 30. Subjective evaluations obtained from test series are correlated with objective measuring data using artificial intelligence methods. The CAE tool AVL- DRIVE was developed for this purpose, an objective driveability measuring system for use both in the vehicle and on the highly dynamic engine test bed. Both options offer a wide range of applications in vehicle development and research as well as in quality control. Development progress can be documented and vehicle analyses and comparisons can for the first time be performed on an objective basis. On the highly dynamic test bed AVL-DRIVE allows new strategies of product development to be applied: driveability calibration, for instance, can be transferred from the vehicle to the test bed. This results in shorter development times and a reduction in the number of test vehicles required.
The correlation of the subjective description of vehicle characteristics, e.g., sporty, comfortable, spontaneous, sluggish, with detailed objective evaluations has provided important information about customer requirements. The character of the vehicle can be influenced by targeted modification of specific criteria. In spite of an objective deterioration of individual criteria the overall character of the vehicle may well be enhanced. This new kind of driveability design, together with detailed information on customer requirements, can be used for adapting a vehicle to a specific target group. The vehicle's driving behavior tailored to the requirements of the customer increases driving pleasure and driving experience, the driver identifies with his vehicle more closely, and the vehicle acquires a higher degree of individuality. Hence, new distinguishing characteristics are available to the customer and the manufacturer.