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Syllabus for

Academic year
MMF062 - Vehicle dynamics  
Syllabus adopted 2017-02-02 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPAUT
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Automation and Mechatronics Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Shipping and Marine Technology, Industrial Design Engineering

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

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0103 Project 4,5c Grading: TH   4,5c    
0203 Examination 3,0c Grading: TH   3,0c   15 Jan 2019 pm M   24 Apr 2019 pm J,  20 Aug 2019 am SB_MU  

In programs



Bengt Jacobson

  Go to Course Homepage


MMF061   Theory of ground vehicles


In order to be eligible for a second cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme that owns the course. (If the second cycle course is owned by a first cycle programme, second cycle entry requirements apply.)
Exemption from the eligibility requirement: Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling these requirements.

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 students should be able to apply their existing knowledge of basic mechanics on road vehicles. The motions of the vehicle body as a rigid body will be analysed separately in three directions: longitudinal, lateral and vertical. The vehicle sub-systems relevant for vehicle response in these directions will be briefly described in words and simple equations. The student will be able to apply the concepts in the course to solve simpler problems for complete vehicle dynamics; both by hand calculations and by developing and using computer models.

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

After the course the student should be able to:

  • Describe, explain 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 above 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.


The course will treat the vehicle as a whole. Important sub-systems will be identified but no detailed analyses (i.e. 3D elasto-kinematic analyses of suspension linkages) will 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 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, Energy consumption, Performance. 2-axle vehicle model for longitudinal load shift. Briefly about anti-dive and anti-lift suspension. Descriptive about longitudinal controlled functions.
  • Module 4: Lateral Dynamics: Low speed manouvering, Ackermann Steering, One-track model, High speed steady state turning, Stability analysis, Stationary oscillating steering, Transient handling, Briefly about roll-axis and lateral load transfer. Briefly about manouvres on friction limit. Briefly about combined longitudinal and lateral dynamics.
    Descriptive about lateral controlled functions.
  • 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, including a driving and datalogging session in motion platform simulator


  • Compendium
  • Lecture presentation slides
  • Problems for problem solving and problems from old exams

Examination including compulsory elements

  • Marked assigment reports
  • Graded written examination with problem solving

Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.