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This paper describes the construction of a low-cost PC-based driving simulator that can perform five degree-of-freedom (DOF) motions similar to a road vehicle. The mathematical equations of vehicle dynamics are first derived from the 2-DOF bicycle model and incorporated with the tire, steering, and suspension subsystems. The equations of motion are then programmed by MATLAB, transferred into C++ code in the MIDEVA environment, and further developed into a motion platform control program by C++Builder. To achieve the simulator functions, a motion platform that is constructed by five hydraulic cylinders is designed, and its kinetics/inverse kinetics analysis is also conducted. Driver operation signals such as steering wheel angle, accelerator pedal, and brake pedal positions are measured to trigger the vehicle dynamics calculation and further actuate the cylinders by the motion platform control program. In addition, a digital PID controller is added to achieve the stable and accurate displacements of the motion platform. The experiments prove that the designed simulator is adequate in performing some special road driving situations discussed in this paper.
Date of Publication: Jan 2003