“AI For Mobility” (AFM) is a new testing platform to investigate and implement novel control methods based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) within the department of vehicle system dynamics at DLR. This project was launched with the aim of modifying and equipping a production vehicle so it can be used as a test platform for new types of control system functions. In order to enable automated operation, a drive-by-wire kit was fitted into the vehicle. It allows to drive defined and reproducible maneuvers and thus to systematically analyze the implemented AI-based control algorithms. Besides that, the AFM takes advantage of semi-active suspension technology, making it a suitable test platform for vertical dynamics control applications. Another area of research is the interpretation of the surrounding scenery of the car for vehicle dynamics control purposes. With the help of different perception sensors and advanced machine learning methods, the driving environment is processed and recorded in real-time. This information will in turn be integrated into chassis control and system state estimation algorithms.
AFM’s suspension tuning and assessment on a four-post test rig.
The vehicle is equipped with a variety of sensors to measure the states and internal values as well as environmental quantities as, e.g., the road condition and the surrounding scenery. The vehicle sensors are synchronously logged on a rapid control prototyping system. For certain research projects the collected data is uploaded to a cloud computer allowing centralized and cross-vehicle control methods. The extensive measurement equipment transforms the vehicle into a powerful data collector enabling the development of novel state estimation methods. For preliminary simulative analysis, a high-fidelity vehicle model is required. For this purpose, a multi-domain multi-body-system (MBS) vehicle model is implemented in Modelica.
AFMs technical specs
The following table summarizers the main technical specifications:
11 / 2019
Hybrid electric vehicle (station wagon)
Wheels and tires
18’’ rim with upsized tires 245/40 R18
Hybrid (2 l petrol engine / electric engine)
187 HP (140 HP (petrol) + 47 HP (electrical))
Continuously variable transmission (CVT)
Speed up 0 – 100 km/h
Within the AI For Mobility project a hybrid production car was chosen as basic platform, because of its full by-wire vehicle architecture. Since most prototype vehicles have the drawback of not having a road approval, they can only be used on closed-off test areas. The AFM has a special road approval for certain operation modes and thus has a larger range of possible use cases in experiments also on the public road network.