Adaptive Road Profile Estimation in Semiactive Car Suspensions

Juan C. Tudón-Martínez, Soheib Fergani, Olivier Sename, John Jairo Martinez, Ruben Morales-Menendez, Luc Dugard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


The enhancement of passengers' comfort and their safety are part of the constant concerns for car manufacturers. Semiactive damping control systems have emerged to adapt the suspension features, where the road profile is one of the most important factors determining the automotive vehicle performance. Because direct measurements of the road profile represent expensive solutions and are susceptible to contamination (e.g. using laser and other visual sensors), this paper proposes a novel road profile estimator that offers the essential information (road roughness and its frequency) for the adjustment of the vehicle dynamics using conventional sensors, such as accelerometers or displacement/velocity sensors easy to mount, cheap, and useful to estimate all suspension variables. Based on the Q-parametrization approach, an adaptive observer estimates the dynamic road signal; afterward, a Fourier analysis is used to compute the road roughness condition online and to perform an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 8608 classification. Experimental results on the rear-left corner of a 1:5 scale vehicle, equipped with electro-rheological (ER) dampers, have been used to validate the proposed road profile estimation method. Different ISO road classes evaluate the performance of the proposed algorithm, whose results show that any road can be identified successfully at least 70% of the time with a false alarm rate lower than 5%; the general accuracy of the road classifier is 95%. A second test with variable vehicle velocity shows the importance of the online frequency estimation to adapt the road estimation algorithm to any driving velocity; in this test, the road is correctly estimated in 868 of 1042 m (an error of 16.7%). Finally, the adaptability of the parametric road estimator to the semiactiveness property of the ER damper is tested at different damping coefficients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7078838
Pages (from-to)2293-2305
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 IEEE.

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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