Varunprabhu, R., Das, H., and Jabez Dhinagar, S., "Steering Effort Reduction by DC Motor Assisted Steering Mechanism in 3- Wheeler Vehicle," SAE Technical Paper 2014-32-0017, 2014, doi:10.4271/2014-32-0017.
The steering system of a 3-wheeler vehicle comprises a single column steering tube. The steering inclination at handle bar end is converted to wheel slip or inclination by the steering column. A compromise in either ride or handling is considered in the functional requirement of the 3-wheeler vehicle.The 3- wheeler vehicle under study is designed for ride comfort and the handling levels are compromised. Variants of the vehicle under study are meant for public passenger transport requirements. Drivers' ride comfort is considered as the primary functional requirement during design and driver's steering fatigue is not given importance. For the comfort of driver, steering effort has to be less without compromise in handling characteristics. The driver of this type of vehicle drives the vehicle for 15-18 hours a day. Driver's feedback suggests high steering effort as a human fatigue failure mode and also a cause of shoulder pain.In the present work, a DC motor assisted steering mechanism with an electronic control module has been designed. This improves the handling of the vehicle and reduces the static steering effort. Steering effort of the vehicle is experimentally determined in a test track for static maneuvering conditions. A look up table reference is used for programming the control module and to control the DC motor for various operating steering angle. The tests are also carried out in driver alone and gross vehicle weight conditions. The test results suggest reduce of steering effort levels for the vehicle studied.