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Virtual sensor for real-time estimation of the vehicle sideslip angle

Kanwar Bharat Singh (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA)

Sensor Review

ISSN: 0260-2288

Article publication date: 12 August 2019

Issue publication date: 26 May 2020



The vehicle sideslip angle is an important state of vehicle lateral dynamics and its knowledge is crucial for the successful implementation of advanced driver-assistance systems. Measuring the vehicle sideslip angle on a production vehicle is challenging because of the exorbitant price of a physical sensor. This paper aims to present a novel framework for virtually sensing/estimating the vehicle sideslip angle. The desired level of accuracy for the estimator is to be within +/− 0.2 degree of the actual sideslip angle of the vehicle. This will make the precision of the proposed estimator at par with expensive commercially available sensors used for physically measuring the vehicle sideslip angle.


The proposed estimator uses an adaptive tire model in conjunction with a model-based observer. The performance of the estimator is evaluated through experimental tests on a rear-wheel drive vehicle.


Detailed experimental results show that the developed system can reliably estimate the vehicle sideslip angle during both steady state and transient maneuvers, within the desired accuracy levels.


This paper presents a novel framework for vehicle sideslip angle estimation. The presented framework combines an adaptive tire model, an unscented Kalman filter-based axle force observer and data from tire mounted sensors. Tire model adaptation is achieved by making extensions to the magic formula, by accounting for variations in the tire inflation pressure, load, tread-depth and temperature. Predictions with the adapted tire model were validated by running experiments on the Flat-Trac® machine. The benefits of using an adaptive tire model for sideslip angle estimation are demonstrated through experimental tests. The performance of the observer is satisfactory, in both transient and steady state maneuvers. Future work will focus on measuring tire slip angle and road friction information using tire mounted sensors and using that information to further enhance the robustness of the vehicle sideslip angle observer.



This paper forms part of a special section “Innovative Sensor Systems”, guest edited by Hubert B. Keller, Rolf Seifert and Sina Keller.


Singh, K.B. (2020), "Virtual sensor for real-time estimation of the vehicle sideslip angle", Sensor Review, Vol. 40 No. 2, pp. 255-272.



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