Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Automotive Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Ziegert, John

Committee Member

Venhovens , Paul

Committee Member

Vahidi , Ardalan

Committee Member

Hubbing , Todd


The automotive marketplace is a volatile and dynamic system driven by consumer desires, marketing, fuel prices, technology, and legislation. Recently many of these factors have culminated in a common effort to encourage hybrid and electric vehicle development. The technology for electric vehicles has finally found enough maturity to be implemented into consumer based vehicles from hybrid SUVs to high performance sports cars. This expansion in available propulsion systems and vehicle architectures has spurred research and development into new and novel approaches for propulsion as well as systems to provide increased ride comfort.
This work presents a dual electric motor drive system that incorporates a mechanism that allows not only longitudinal actuation of the vehicle, but also low frequency vertical actuation of the vehicle. The system is able to achieve this by coupling two motors per wheel and combining them with a new kinematic mechanism that facilitates dual degree of freedom actuation with coupled motors. By utilizing two motors coupled together to actuate the two degrees of freedom, more efficient utilization of resources is possible. Rather than having a motor that provides longitudinal motion and another that provides vertical actuation, the system uses two motors coupled together to provide both. When one degree of freedom doesn't require actuation, the motors can be utilized to provide higher performance in the other degree of freedom.
This system is designed, modeled, and actually converted into a prototype design throughout the entirety of this work. Initial conceptual modeling and performance metric definition occurs in a kinematic analysis of a basic mechanism. This is then developed into a more complex three dimensional model, and finally converted into physical hardware. In parallel to the hardware development, the controller that allows the system to operate is also explored. From actuating a single degree of freedom to a linearized coupling algorithm that allows both degrees of freedom to be controlled independently and simultaneously, the control system evolves into a functioning system.



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