Ride comfort performance of road and off-road vehicles is an important customer satisfaction issue, and is increasingly being integrated within the total vehicle development process. Vehicle ride vibration coupled with constrained drivers’ sitting postures has been associated with a number of musculoskeletal disorders among vehicle drivers, in addition to annoyance, discomfort and loss of productivity, particularly for commercial road and off-road vehicles.
The ride comfort performance of vehicles, however, is related to a multitude of factors related to human driver attributes, vehicle design, operating conditions and road/terrain conditions in a highly coupled and complex manner, while the present state of knowledge is insufficient for defining precise objective measures of ride performance for integration in the vehicle development process.
The subjective sensations of vehicle ride comfort show extreme variabilities and strongly rely on individual preferences, the support properties of seats, vehicle vibration and noise and workstation design coupled with vehicle handling. The objective measures of vehicle ride comfort and annoyance, on the other hand, rely mostly on the nature of the vibration and noise of the vehicle.
Although developments over the past few decades have evolved into valuable guidelines and standards to assess and limit the drivers’ exposure to vehicle vibration and shock, the subject of assessment and control continues to pose an array of multi-disciplinary challenges. The chassis, suspension and tyres are the key design factors affecting objective and subjective ride comfort performance, while the designs are heavily weighted for realising greater handling performance opposed to ride comfort. High speed work vehicles such as articulated steer vehicles, particularly, encompass difficult challenges for suspension designs to achieve an acceptable compromise between ride and directional stability performance.
This special issue is intended to focus on state-of-the-art developments in technologies and methods addressing subjective and objective vehicle ride enhancements and customer satisfaction.
Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
- Developments in criteria for assessing subjective and objective vehicle ride comfort
- Biodynamic/biomechanical modelling of drivers/passengers and applications to seating and vehicle design
- State-of-the-art reviews of ride comfort assessment methods, standards and guidelines, and their limitations
- Analytical and experimental methods in tyre-terrain (soil) dynamics
- Characterisation of multi-axis ride vibration environments of vehicles, and assessment of ride comfort
- Practically implementable active/semi-active and advanced passive axle suspensions
- Optimal secondary suspension (seat and cab) designs and their adaptation
- Controllable actuators and vibration isolation mounts
- Developments in MR suspension and mounts
- Rigid and flexible multi-body modelling techniques for vehicle ride dynamics
- Vehicle pitching, beaming, shaking, impact harshness, brake judder on driver ride sensation
- Vehicle ride evaluations - measurement methods, instrumentation and analysis methods
- Road test simulation methods for suspension tuning, full vehicle ride evaluations and optimization
- Correlations between analytical/field ride measures and subjective comfort sensations
Manuscript submission deadline: 30 April, 2013
Reviewers' reports and decision: 31 July, 2013
Final manuscript due: 31 October, 2013