Black, J. and Wagner, J., "Vehicle Road Runoff and Return - Effect of Limited Steering Intervention," SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars – Mech. Syst. 4(1):523-535, 2011, doi:10.4271/2011-01-0583.
Vehicle safety remains a significant concern for consumers, government agencies, and automotive manufacturers. One critical type of vehicle accident results from the right or left side tires leaving the road surface and then returning abruptly due to large steering wheel inputs (road runoff and return). A subset of runoff road crashes that involve a steep hard shoulder has been labeled shoulder induced accidents. In this paper, a limited authority real time steering controller has been developed to mitigate shoulder induced accidents. A Kalman Filter based tire cornering stiffness estimation technique has been coupled with a feedback controller and driver intention module to create a safer driving solution without excessive intervention. In numerical studies, lateral vehicle motion improvements of 30% were realized for steering intervention. Specifically, the vehicle crossed the centerline after 1.0 second in the baseline case versus 1.3 seconds with steering assistance at 60 kph. For the case of an attentive driver, the final heading angle of the vehicle was reduced by 46% from 0.48 radians to 0.26 radians. However, a persistent challenge remains regarding the interpretation of driver commands and application of corrective steering actions available with on-board control systems.