Yaw motion control via active differentials

The majority of vehicle dynamics control systems currently in production utilize some form of brake or throttle intervention to generate a yaw moment and control wheel slip. Such control systems can be both intrusive and inefficient. The use of active driveline technology is therefore an attractive alternative and recent advances in controlled differential technology have served to make it a potentially viable one. Using simulation results, this paper will demonstrate the power of these devices to influence vehicle dynamics by first proposing a suitable control strategy. This is then used to illustrate how, with perfect actuation, a vehicle's handling characteristics may be modified. The actuator limitations imposed by the two main classes of contemporary controlled differentials are then discussed and imposed on the simulation model. Using the ideal results as a benchmark, the relative merits of each type are then assessed.