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Syllabus for

Academic year
MMF062 - Vehicle dynamics
Syllabus adopted 2013-02-18 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPAUT
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Automation and Mechatronics Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Shipping and Marine Technology, Industrial Design Engineering
Department: 42 - APPLIED MECHANICS

Teaching language: English
Open for exchange students
Block schedule: D

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0103 Project 4,5 c Grading: TH   4,5 c    
0203 Examination 3,0 c Grading: TH   3,0 c   17 Dec 2013 pm M,  22 Apr 2014 pm V,  19 Aug 2014 am M

In programs



Professor  Bengt Jacobson


MMF061   Theory of ground vehicles

Course evaluation:

  Go to Course Homepage


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

Course specific prerequisites

Statics (equilibrium, forces and moments, free body diagrams)
Kinematics and kinetics (linear and angular motions, mainly in one plane)
Dynamic systems, differential equations (basic level)
Linear algebra (matrix equations)
Stationary vibrations and step response in linear mekanical systems.
Successful completion of a Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering guarantees the students preparation for the course.


The course aims to that the student should be able to apply their existing knowledge of basic mechanics and apply them to road vehicles. The motions of the vehicle body as a rigid body will be analyzed in three independent analyses: longitudinal dynamics, lateral dynamics and vertical dynamics. The vehicle sub-systems relevant for vehicle response in these directions will be introduced and described using equations. The student will be able to apply the concepts in the course to calculate simpler problems and develop computer models that can describe the performance of each vehicle system independently.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

After the project course the student should be able to:

* Describe and calculate the forces acting between the tire and the road during the operation of a vehicle.

* Describe design and basic function of the vehicle systems: propulsion, brake, steering and suspension.

* Understand and do basic models of the mentioned vehicle systems, capturing such as: front/rear axle drive, anti-dive/anti-squat suspension, axle roll-centre, rack steering, roll-axis.

* Compile the models of the vehicle systems to a vehicle level model, and use it to verify vehicle function requirements for manouvres that mainly are either of longitudinal, lateral and vertical.

* Implement models into computer programs to enable the verification.

* Know terminology for performance, driveability, handling and ride comfort of a vehicle.


The course will treat the vehicle as consisting of a set of sub-systems, of which detailed analyses (i.e. kinematic analyses of suspension linkages) will not be undertaken. The course (and compendium) is divided into five modules (chapters) as follows:

Module 1: Introduction: Introduction to the engineering task of vehicle dynamics engineers. Short recap of basic mathematical and mechanical engineering concepts relevant for analyzing vehicle dynamics.

Module 2: Vehicle interactions: Mainly tyre/road contact, including models for rolling resistance and longitudinal and lateral slip and forces. Briefly about combined longitudinal and lateral slip.

Module 3: Longitudinal Dynamics: Acceleration/Braking/Gradeability Performance. 2-axle vehicle model for longitudinal load shift. Briefly about anti-dive and anti-lift suspension.

Module 4: Lateral Dynamics: Low speed manouvering, Ackermann Steering, One-track model, High speed steady state turning, Handling diagram, Stability analysis, Transient handling, Briefly about roll-axis and lateral load transfer. Briefly about manouvres on friction limit. Briefly about combined longitudinal and lateral dynamics.

Module 5: Vertical Dynamics: Ride comfort, Road grip on rough road, Road waviness model, Suspension components (springs and dampers), 1- and 2-Degree of freedom quarter car model, Bounce & Pitch Model. Briefly about non-stationary vertical dynamics.


- Lectures
- Problem solving sessions
- Assignments


* Compendium
* Lecture presentation slides
* Collection of problems for problem solving including problems from old exams


* Marked assigment reports (50%)
* Graded written examination with problem solving (50%)

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.