Robust Virtual Sensing for Vehicle Agile Manoeuvring: A Tyre-model-less Approach

Manuel Acosta, Stratis Kanarachos, Michael Fitzpatrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
398 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents a robust virtual sensor to estimate the chassis planar motion states and the tyre forces during agile manoeuvres using a tyre-model-less approach. Specifically, virtual sensing is achieved from standard sensor signals available on the CAN bus of modern vehicles using a modular filter architecture composed of Stochastic Kalman Filters. A high-fidelity virtual testing environment is constructed in IPG CarMaker® using a driver-in-the-loop setup to verify the virtual sensor without compromising driver's safety. Moreover, road random profiles are incorporated into the virtual road to assess the state estimator robustness to high vertical excitation levels. The virtual sensor is simulated under drifting manoeuvres performed by an experienced driver and tested experimentally under Fishhook and Slalom manoeuvres. Finally, the state estimator is integrated into a drift controller and autonomous drift control using exclusively readily available measurements is verified for the first time. As the drift equilibrium depends strongly on the tyre-road friction, an Adaptive Neuro-Fuzzy Inference System has been integrated into the virtual sensor structure to provide a continuous approximation of the road friction characteristics (axle lateral force versus slip curve) in rigid and loose surfaces. The findings suggest that it may be possible to develop advanced vehicle controllers without using a tyre model. This can lead to a substantial acceleration of development time, particularly in off-road applications, and remove the need for online estimation of tyre properties due to pressure, wear and age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1894-1908
JournalIEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology
Issue number3
Early online date30 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Statement: © 2017 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.


  • Tire
  • Roads
  • Friction
  • Axels
  • Estimation
  • Force
  • Vehicle dynamics
  • Virtual Sensing
  • Vehicle Agile Manoeuvring
  • Adaptive Neuro-Fuzzy Inference System
  • Autonomous Vehicle Control


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