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Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
MMF061 - Theory of ground vehicles
Owner: AUMAS
5,0 Credits (ECTS 7,5)
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Level: A
Department: 0790 - Machine and vehicle systems

This course round is cancelled

Teaching language: English

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 No Sp
0198 Oral examination 5,0c Grading: TH   5,0c    



For single subject courses within Chalmers programmes the same eligibility requirements apply, as to the programme(s) that the course is part of.


The course aims to provide fundamental knowledge of the dynamics of various types of ground vehicles, comprising propulsion/performance, handling and ride aspects. The approach is systems oriented: any vehicle is considered to be a system, composed by modular components, the characteristics of which are assumed to be already familiar or are otherwise easily definable. That knowledge will provide tools for prediction of the vehicle response to various driver and ambience inputs, as well as for optimization of component characteristics with respect to any desired system performance indicator.


The teaching approach will be problem oriented. Problem areas are stated and defined. Ways to find realistic solutions are outlined. Solution tools, which are mostly computer based, are advised. The learning phase is basically concentrated on solving assigned comprehensive and realistic analytical and design problems. Obtained solutions are experimentally verified, where possible, by available experimental equipment (research vehicle).
The following vehicles will be included: automobiles, commercial road vehicles, off-road wheeled & tracked vehicles and railroad vehicles as single units or trains of interconnected (towed) units, with the focus on automobiles.
Problems are introduced and treated grouped as follows:
Propulsion/performance (in the x or traveling direc-tion), including prediction of static and dynamic vertical road load distribution, maximum tractive and braking ground contact forces, maximum constant speed, maximum negotiable slope, maximum acceleration, maximum braking distance, fuel consumption at constant speed cruising and at completion of some driving cycle.
Handling (in the y or lateral direction), including understanding the significance of oversteer and understeer, respectively, and prediction of steady-state response to constant steering command at low and moderate driving speeds, respectively, transient response to some prescribed time-variable steering command at low and moderate driving speeds, respectively, and impulsive response to steering commands or external lateral disturbance of short duration, based on the so called minimal bicycle model of a vehicle.
Ride (in the z or vertical direction), including prediction of ride comfort and minimum road normal contact loads, based upon RMS acceleration and force variation amplitude values that are the statistical responses to road excitation, defined via a transfer function for a minimal (quarter car) linear vehicle model and the road spectral density, corrected (as for comfort) for variable human sensitivity in different frequency ranges (ISO 2631).
There will be scheduled lectures for theory and problem introduction, problem treatise sessions and laboratory experimental verification sessions.


Fundamentals of Vehicle Dynamics by Thomas G. Gillespie or Theory of Ground Vehicles by J. Y. Wong, Automotive Handbook published by BOSH, additional Lecture Notes and Articles. There will also be available a Tutorial Course on videotape, related to the above textbook by Thomas G. Gillespie.


The final exam will be oral. Completed assigned problems will be a pre-requisite for the exam.

Page manager Published: Thu 04 Feb 2021.