Cars in the lab

New challenges in the automotive industry

Canada, among other countries, is under intense pressure to reduce vehicle emissions and improve fuel economy. This has led to much stricter emission standards for vehicles and in turn has initiated the need for a new generation automobiles with greatly increased fuel economy. Some new standards have already been introduced in Canada, U.S.A., and Europe. These emerging requirements, along with growing public awareness of environmental issues, have imposed huge pressures on the automotive industry to develop a new generation of automobiles with improved efficiency that can meet the higher standards without any significant cost increase.

Vehicle electrification is the most promising road transportation solution to these new standards. However, electrification of vehicle systems presents difficult challenges that cannot be resolved using only the established conventional vehicle technologies.

These challenges are related specifically to:

  • Powertrains
  • Chassis design and layout
  • Multidisciplinary power management and optimization
  • System integration
  • Vehicle dynamics and stability

Addressing these challenges

Mechatronic Vehicle Systems Laboratory is tasked with addressing these challenges along with other challenges related to various control systems such as traction control, vehicle stability control, and controlled suspension will aid the development of technologies that will enable the production of next-generation electric vehicle systems while satisfying high demands on vehicle dynamic performance, active safety, and environmental sustainability.

Part of these novel technologies would also be applicable to other types of vehicles, such as:

  • Heavy commercial vehicles
  • Off-road vehicles
  • Planetary surface rovers

The research themes conducted include:

  • Active vehicle control and estimation
  • New technologies for urban vehicles
  • Anti-idling for service vehicles
  • Variable valve timing systems and air hybrid engines
  • Active and adaptive suspensions
  • Smart tires

Systems interaction map

Vehicle systems and their interactions

AWD electric equinox at the track

Full electric GM Equinox with four independent motors to drive each wheel