Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Automotive Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Kurfess, Thomas R

Committee Member

Law , E H

Committee Member

Ayalew , Beshahwired

Committee Member

Rhyne , Timothy B


This dissertation presents a novel Electronic Stability Control (ESC) strategy that is capable of adapting to changing vehicle mass, tire condition and road surface conditions. The benefits of ESC are well understood with regard to assisting drivers to maintain vehicle control during extreme handling maneuvers or when extreme road conditions such as ice are encountered. However state of the art ESC strategies rely on known and invariable vehicle parameters such as vehicle mass, yaw moment of inertia and tire cornering stiffness coefficients. Such vehicle parameters may change over time, especially in the case of heavy trucks which encounter widely varying load conditions. The objective of this research is to develop an ESC control strategy capable of identifying changes in these critical parameters and adapting the control strategy accordingly.
An ESC strategy that is capable of identifying and adapting to changes in vehicle parameters is presented. The ESC system utilizes the same sensors and actuators used on commercially-available ESC systems. A nonlinear reduced-order observer is used to estimate vehicle sideslip and tire slip angles. In addition, lateral forces are estimated providing a real-time estimate of lateral force capability of the tires with respect to slip angle. A recursive least squares estimation algorithm is used to automatically identify tire cornering stiffness coefficients, which in turn provides a real-time indication of axle lateral force saturation and estimation of road/tire coefficient of friction. In addition, the recursive least squares estimation is shown to identify changes in yaw moment of inertia that may occur due to changes in vehicle loading conditions. An algorithm calculates the reduction in yaw moment due to axle saturation and determines an equivalent moment to be generated by differential braking on the opposite axle. A second algorithm uses the slip angle estimates and vehicle states to predict a Time to Saturation (TTS) value of the rear axle and takes appropriate action to prevent vehicle loss of control. Simulation results using a high fidelity vehicle modeled in CarSim show that the ESC strategy provides improved vehicle performance with regard to handling stability and is capable of adapting to the identified changes in vehicle parameters.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.