Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering

First Advisor

Bruce Paul Minaker




With the increasing popularity of autonomous vehicles, much research has been done focusing on vehicle vision and tracking ability, but the handling performance of the vehicle itself is still important, especially under emergency circumstances. However, production vehicles are developed with the ease of control for human drivers as one of the criteria. What if this restraint is removed from the vehicle, and then the machine driver is developed? Is the vehicle able to reach a higher limit than the current maximum handling performance? This research attempts to answer these questions, through the application of a curvature based lateral controller to a 10 DOF nonlinear vehicle model. The concept of a driver's internal vehicle model is used, and is proposed to represent varying skill levels of the driver. The simulation is conducted in Simulink, with integrated MATLAB codes. The results obtained from the one-lap vehicle tracking simulation show only a marginal handling performance increase with the change of handling characteristics and different drivers' skill level.