An Objective Evaluation Approach for Safety-Relevant Steering Feedback on a Test Bench

Since electric power steering has replaced hydraulic power steering in passenger cars, steering feedback has become a challenging task in steering system development. Test benches represent a valid approach for improving steering feedback since they allow investigations without the real vehicle. To improve the applicability of feedback evaluations on a steering test bench, this paper aims to identify improvements in the current evaluation technique to obtain objective parameters that correlate with a subjective evaluation of safety-relevant steering feedback. Therefore, a previously reported approach of a chirp rack force excitation, using the magnitude of the transfer function from the rack force to steering wheel torque to describe steering feedback, is compared to a similar identification approach in which a pseudo-random-binary-sequence signal is utilized. To reflect realistic applications, driving maneuvers are transferred to the test bench to identify relevant objective data. For a valid representation of the steering wheel operation, a human grip model is implemented and compared to a fixed steering wheel angle control. It is shown that the random signal represents a valid and, on average, improved approach to objectively evaluating the steering feedback. Furthermore, a recommendation can be made to include the human grip model in the feedback evaluation tests, as the identified correlation results are improved by its inclusion. The identified parameters and methods represent an improvement for future steering feedback development.


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