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Interface of Intelligent Control Philosophy and Mechatronics Technology for Tyre-Surface Interaction

Final Report Summary - INTYRE (Interface of intelligent control philosophy and mechatronics technology for tyre-surface interaction)

The project ¿'Interface of intelligent control philosophy and mechatronics technology for tyre-surface interaction (INTYRE) was performed at Ilmenau University of Technology (Germany) within the Seventh European Community Framework Programme, Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship. Research activities had been carried out by fellow Valentin Ivanov (DSc PhD MechEng) under supervising and cooperation with host scientist in charge Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Augsburg.

The main idea of the project is to gain new knowledge and technological background for enhanced performance and safety of ground vehicles on the basis of synergetic methods of intelligent control, soft computing, mechatronics, terramechanics, and applied dynamics. At that the point of research application is a tyre as the most important vehicle component responsible for efficient and safe mobility.

The initial project stages investigated competitive variants of tyre-surface interaction models on the basis of fuzzy logic. Then, following the first research results, the fuzzy systems architecture for the identification of tyre rolling parameters was being synthesised. Further development of this architecture gave a blended nonlinear/fuzzy controller for intelligent vehicle safety control systems, which were a subject of simulation. For this purpose a new hardware-in-the-loop test rig was created. Intensive tests on final project stages allowed validating new methods for the safety- and performance-related control on tyre-surface interaction.

The main project results as fuzzy algorithms for monitoring and identification of tyre properties, family of intelligent tyre control methods, or structural engineering solutions for vehicle mechatronic systems contribute to a number of technological and socio-economic domains on European level. There are improvement of traffic safety, development of hi-tech ground vehicles with a high level of autonomy and cognition. The project results related to the reduction of tyre rolling losses concern not only conventional but also alternative vehicles and therefore they can be used for technologies under development in the European Green Car Initiative.

Another positive side is that the INTYRE project is a vivid example how Marie Curie activities can give a good base for creation new industry-academia partnership or reinforcement of the existent cooperation. In this regard intensive dissemination activities during the fellowship brought close contacts between the fellow, host institution and representatives from industry and research.

The results of the INTYRE project in the field of mechatronic systems are of special interest from the educational viewpoint being obvious case of interdisciplinary research covering mechanical and electrical engineering, information technologies and fuzzy logic. It was one of prerequisites for the host university to initiate new educational activities in the related are. As a result, Ilmenau University of Technology is now developing the Interdisciplinary Joint Degree in Ground Vehicle Mechatronic Systems together with partner universities from EU and US.

The project results received wide international recognition. They have been published in several research papers and presented on the major European and international conferences. In March 2010 the fellow was awarded with Intelligent Optimal Design Prize in Singapore.

In closing it may be said that host institution and the fellow achieved successfully the global goal of this Marie Curie project: to develop a small, sustainable vehicle technology research community, highly visible in the international research arena. Such a community, by bringing together academic and industrial expertise, and utilising the latest research methods, will be able to make a significant contribution to the next generation of vehicle safety systems, control and mechatronic technologies.