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EPSRC Project Completed

last modified Dec 13, 2010 11:27 AM

The introduction of Long Combination Vehicles (LCVs) to Britain could reduce losses due to traffic congestion by £2.1 billion, says a recent CVDC report summarizing three and a half years worth of research. The EPSRC project titled 'Active Multi-Axle Steering of Heavy Goods Vehicles' sought to address the three major technical hurdles facing the adoption of LCVs in the UK: manoeuvrability, high-speed stability, and reversibility.

By developing advanced control strategies for the CVDC steering trailer, researchers were able to eliminate roundabout entry tail swing. In high-speed lane change manoeuvres, active steering improved rollover stability by reducing lateral acceleration by 27%.

Experiments with the new CVDC B-double configuration revealed that unsteered LCVs cannot negotiate a UK roundabout. With active steering, the CVDC B-train used less swept-path width than a conventional semi-trailer and produced no tail swing. By using path-following control, the B-double configuration navigated a standard UK roundabout in reverse with virtually zero path error; an impossible task for an unsteered vehicle.

More details and references can be found in the project summary report here.

Videos of the CVDC semitrailer performing roundabout manoeuvres can be found here.

Videos of the new CVDC B-train can be found here.

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