Innovative torque vectoring system to enhance electric vehicles

A team of researchers have discovered novel techniques to advance torque vectoring that could drastically enhance the safety, range, and overall performance of electric vehicles.

As part of the European Union’s STEVE project, a group from the University of Surrey has established a number of groundbreaking advances for torque vectoring in electric vehicles.

In electric vehicles with multiple motors, it is feasible to provide varying amounts of drive power to each wheel. This is beneficial to vehicles’ power consumption, range, safety, and drivability.

This system of calculating and optimising the exact quantity of power required while the vehicle moves is complicated; it necessitates comprehensive understanding of the driving conditions ahead and powerful onboard computing resources to distribute the data in real-time, making the method unrealistic for everyday vehicles.

The advanced techniques discovered by the team enable torque vectoring to be applied to consumer e-vehicles.

For instance, in order to enhance the safety of electric vehicles, they developed a stability-control system that is able to foresee the curvature of the road ahead, permitting the car to pre-emptively brake when it advances towards a bend too fast.

This torque vectoring system merges a predictive control model along with fuzzy logic in order to adaptively prioritise vehicle dynamics or energy efficiency, depending on the driving conditions. The researchers have demonstrated that their model, built to simulate the way a vehicle is driven, utilising the ‘pulse and glide’ approach to decrease energy consumption, is advantageous in electric vehicles and has sufficient cost-effectiveness to be applied in future electric vehicles.

Professor Aldo Sorniotti, Head of the Centre for Automotive Engineering at the University of Surrey, commented: “This has been an exciting project that has allowed us to make some major advances in powertrain control for electric vehicles. We believe that our work will allow new advanced torque vectoring techniques to become useable in ordinary electric vehicles, delivering research that will directly assist drivers in the very near future.”

Riccardo Groppo, CEO of Ideas & Motion, one of the project partners, added: “It has been a pleasure working with the University of Surrey on the STEVE project. In particular, the technical collaboration was fundamental to making progress on the inverter and control algorithm for the Light Electric Vehicle we developed. I think we have accomplished excellent results, setting the basis for further collaboration.”

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