Paper presented at Driving Simulator Conference 2016, 7–9 September 2016, Paris, France. Authored by Brems, W., Richard Uhlmann, R., Andreas Wagner, A., Wiedemann, J.
Driving simulators are widely used in the automotive development process, yet not very common in the chassis evaluation process. This research addresses the question if a mid-size driving simulator can be used to subjectively evaluate lateral dynamics of a passenger car. To answer this question, selective parameter variations influencing the lateral dynamics of a vehicle were evaluated in a driving simulator at AUDI AG. As an exemplary parameter, the tire cornering stiffness was systematically varied, using staircase methods from psychophysics. The variations were then evaluated by professional test drivers. In consecutive trials, the drivers were presented with a new tire parameter set in each trial and had to indicate the change in tire cornering stiffness. After each trial the driver had to specify if the tires in the previous trial or in the latter trial were more cornering stiff. Results show that professional test drivers in the simulator can repeatedly detect and correctly assign small changes of 10 % or less in cornering stiffness. In the discussion section the step size of 10 % is further evaluated and brought in relation to tasks in the chassis development process. In the end this can be seen as an indicator for the effectiveness of driving simulators in the chassis development process.