Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name



Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering

First Advisor

Frise, Peter (Mechanical, Automotive and Materials Engineering)


Engineering, Automotive.




Advances in computing technology have had a profound impact on the design and development of modern vehicle systems. These advances have provided the basis for virtual design and testing in simulated environments, as well as the development of active control systems capable of providing improved vehicle safety, efficiency, and performance. Continued developments in hybrid powertrains and on-board computing will provide for greater amounts of control, through the integration of larger numbers of actuators and more complex control schemes. The intention of this research is to investigate the effects of advanced vehicle dynamics controls on the human operated vehicle system. Hybrid electric vehicle systems incorporating multiple electric drive motors are capable of actively distributing drive and braking torque to the individual wheels of the vehicle. The modulation of these torques can be used to optimize or alter the dynamic response of the vehicle, through the application of a direct yaw moment. A control structure capable of determining and dynamically allocating appropriate control signals for over-actuated vehicle systems is proposed. A dynamic simulation of a virtual prototype BMW 330i is utilized to evaluate the effects of active drive torque vectoring on vehicle response. The effects of the proposed system on the human operator are also evaluated, through the use of driver model in-the-loop simulations. The results presented indicate the promising potential of direct yaw moment control in modulating the response of human operated vehicle systems. The interactions between the human driver model and control systems were shown to be favourable. The scientific contributions and implications of the research are detailed, including application of closed-loop simulation to engineering education. Conclusions on the efficacy of developed models, methodologies and systems are given. Finally, recommendations on potential improvements and future research regarding vehicle modelling and motion control are provided.