Alex Beckerman, Donald Margolis, and D. Jordan McCrone
This paper presents a high-order vehicle model representative of the proposed automobile by Athena Technolo-G. Such a vehicle includes a novel pivoting axle concept that replaces the traditional steering and suspension mechanisms with axles and multi-axis bushings. This simplification dramatically reduces mechanical complexity with the intent of reducing developmental and manufacturing costs. The role of the steering and suspension mechanisms will be replicated using four independent in-wheel motors. The model put forth in this paper will aid in future studies to evaluate the efficacy of such a novel vehicle architecture. Specifically, this paper aims to capture the relevant dynamics between in-wheel motor torques and both handling and ride properties. Special attention is given to the multi-axis bushing that connects the pivoting axle and sprung mass. The sprung mass and both pivoting axles each have six degrees-of-freedom. A single aggressive maneuver is performed to showcase the model.