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Course Details

Chassis Control Systems

Cranfield University
School of Engineering
Contact Provider
3 day course
Short Course
practising engineers and technologists who wish to develop their knowledge in particular to the design and development of chassis control systems for steering, suspensions, driveline, and braking.
Cranfield University, College Road, Cranfield, MK43 0AL, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom

To review the fundamentals of vehicle ride and handling, to describe the principles of controlled systems for chassis dynamics and to link this understanding to the practical implications for vehicle and chassis design.

Course description

A 3 day short course at the Cranfield University main campus intended for those practising engineers and technologists who already have a general understanding of vehicle dynamics and who now wish to develop their knowledge in particular to the design and development of chassis control systems for steering, suspensions, driveline, and braking. The course will consist of a mix of lectures from both academic and industrial specialists in chassis control technology, ride and drive activities on a test track and a hands-on session of the use of modelling and simulation tools for case studies.

Delegates on the course will receive:

  • A revision session of the fundamentals of vehicle dynamics and control
  • Control system design – review of control techniques using automotive case studies
  • Steering – active front and rear steer, steer-by-wire
  • Suspensions – controllable dampers, roll control, semi-active systems, active systems
  • Driveline – traction control, controlled differentials, torque vectoring, effect on handling
  • Braking – ABS, yaw stability control, actuator developments, brake-by-wire
  • Integration – electrical architecture, networks, function allocation and functional safety, future challenges
  • Case studies – introduction to modelling and simulation software and discussion of practical case studies
  • Practical ride and drive work at the Millbrook test track.

Subjects covered

Vehicle dynamics and control

  • Fundamentals of ride vibration
  • Limitations of passive suspension design
  • Fundamentals of handling
  • Understeer, oversteer
  • Fundamentals of braking behaviour
  • Limitations of passive vehicle dynamics
  • Tyre force and moments properties

Control system design

  • Control system basics
  • System transfer functions
  • Closed loop control
  • Modern design techniques
  • State estimation
  • Sampled data systems
  • Automotive case studies


  • Power assistance systems
  • Hydraulic and electrical systems
  • Steering feel
  • Active front and rear steering
  • Steer by wire
  • Control strategies
  • Steering actuation devices
  • Driver feedback actuation


  • Controlled dampers
  • Switchable devices
  • Continuously variable damping
  • MR/ER fluid devices
  • Cost vs. benefit issues
  • Controlled suspensions
  • Switchable spring stiffness
  • Active roll control
  • Fully active systems, e.g. Mercedes ABC
  • Variable geometry approach


  • Traction control
  • Controlled differentials
  • F/R torque split
  • Torque vectoring, L/R split
  • Review of current hardware devices
  • Handling performance benefits
  • Energy consumption
  • Individual wheel control


  • Review of current ABS systems
  • Brake assistance schemes
  • Brake proportioning
  • Electrohydraulic schemes
  • Electromechanical schemes
  • Individual wheel brake control
  • Review of current ESP systems
  • Potential for improvement
  • Cost vs benefit issues

Systems Integration

  • System integration
  • Choice of systems
  • Integration strategy
  • Electrical architecture
  • Networks
  • Function allocation
  • Functional safety

Case studies

  • Introduction to IPG CarMaker software

Practical studies

  • Ride and drive activities at Millbrook test track

Course partners

  • IPG Automotive GmbH, Millbrook Proving Ground

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