The emergence of electric drives opens up new opportunities in vehicle design. For example, powerful in-wheel motors provide unprecedented flexibility in chassis design and are suitable for distributed drive solutions, although implying non-trivial vehicle dynamics control problems.
This work aims at a new differential steering concept relying only on passive steering linkages where the necessary steering moment about the kingpins is generated by traction force differences produced by in-wheel motors. For the analysis of the proposed steering concept, a tailored multi-body system model is introduced along with the associated steering control system.
In addition, this work explores the general applicability of such a new steering concept by using multi-objective optimisation. For this purpose, various design objectives and constraints are defined with respect to the dynamic, steady-state and low-speed steering performance of the vehicle.
The resulting behaviour of the proposed steering concept is investigated by various simulation experiments demonstrating a comparable steering performance to that of conventional passenger cars.