The author has developed an undergraduate course to introduce students to the basic principles of land vehicle dynamics. Many students, though they are intrinsically interested in the subject, have difficulty grasping the physical principles needed to enable a sufficient understanding of the subject to support their aspirations of making informed vehicle design decisions. An intriguing potentially useful fact is that the computer gaming world has developed widely available very sophisticated vehicle computer models with realistic human driver interfaces. However, while very entertaining, these computer games are not suitable for helping undergraduate engineering students understand the basic principles needed for land vehicle design. Therefore, as part of this course, the students develop their own dynamic models of vehicles (using Working Model 2D) starting with simplified quarter-vehicle suspension systems and working up to a steerable four-wheel drive vehicle traveling over a rough road. The innovation from an instructional standpoint is that students can get a good understanding of some three-dimensional effects, and thus the design principles derivable from this understanding, through employing a fairly simple to program and use widely available 2-D dynamic simulator software. The paper outlines the methodology for incorporating 3-D effects for land vehicle problems, and this methodology is illustrated with some specific examples.
Department, Program, or Center
Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology (CAST)
Sutherland, George, "Using a 2-D Simulation Program to Support Interactive Learning of 3-D Vehicle Dynamics" (2006). Conference Proceedings: ASEE St. Lawrence Section,Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus