Dr Philip So

Research Fellow
PhD, BEng (Hons)



Gaetano Tavolo, Kai Man So, Davide Tavernini, Pietro Perlo, Aldo Sorniotti (2022)Nonlinear Model Predictive Control for Preview-Based Traction Control

This study presents a nonlinear model predictive control (NMPC) formulation for preview-based traction control, which uses the information on the expected tire-road friction coefficient ahead to enhance the wheel slip control performance, in the context of connected vehicles with V2X features. Proof-of-concept experiments on an electric vehicle prototype highlight the real-time capability of the controller, and the wheel slip control performance improvement brought by the tire-road friction coefficient preview. Finally, an experimentally validated simulation model is used in sensitivity analyses, to evaluate the performance benefit of the preview-based controller for different dynamic characteristics (e.g., time constant and pure time delays) of the electric powertrains.

Kai Man So, Patrick Gruber, Davide Tavernini, Ahu Ece Hartavi Karci, Aldo Sorniotti, Tomaz Motaln (2020)On the optimal speed profile for electric vehicles, In: IEEE Access8pp. 78504-78518 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

The main question in eco-driving is – what speed or torque profile should the vehicle follow to minimize its energy consumption over a certain distance within a desired trip time? Various techniques to obtain globally optimal energy-efficient driving profiles have been proposed in the literature, involving optimization algorithms such as dynamic programming (DP) or sequential quadratic programming. However, these methods are difficult to implement on real vehicles due to their significant computational requirements and the need for precise a-priori knowledge of the scenario ahead. Although many predictions state that electric vehicles (EVs) represent the future of mobility, the literature lacks a realistic analysis of optimal driving profiles for EVs. This paper attempts to address the gap by providing optimal solutions obtained from DP for a variety of trip times, which are compared with simple intuitive speed profiles. For a case study EV, the results show that the DP solutions involve forms of Pulse-and-Glide (PnG) at high frequency. Hence, detailed investigations are performed to: i) prove the optimality conditions of PnG for EVs; ii) show its practical use, based on realistic electric powertrain efficiency maps; iii) propose rules for lower frequency PnG operation; and iv) use PnG to track generic speed profiles.

Alessandro Scamarcio, Carmine Caponio, Mario Mihalkov, Petar Georgiev, Javad Ahmadi, Kai Man So, Davide Tavernini, Aldo Sorniotti (2022)Predictive Anti-Jerk and Traction Control for V2X Connected Electric Vehicles with Central Motor and Open Differential, In: IEEE transactions on vehicular technologypp. 1-1 IEEE

V2X connectivity and powertrain electrification are emerging trends in the automotive sector, which enable the implementation of new control solutions. Most of the production electric vehicles have centralized powertrain architectures consisting of a single central on-board motor, a single-speed transmission, an open differential, half-shafts, and constant velocity joints. The torsional drivetrain dynamics and wheel dynamics are influenced by the open differential, especially in split- scenarios, i.e., with different tire-road friction coefficients on the two wheels of the same axle, and are attenuated by the so-called anti-jerk controllers. Although a rather extensive literature discusses traction control formulations for individual wheel slip control, there is a knowledge gap on: a) model based traction controllers for centralized powertrains; and b) traction controllers using the preview of the expected tire-road friction condition ahead, e.g., obtained through V2X, for enhancing the wheel slip tracking performance. This study presents nonlinear model predictive control formulations for traction control and anti-jerk control in electric powertrains with central motor and open differential, and benefitting from the preview of the tire-road friction level. The simulation results in straight line and cornering conditions, obtained with an experimentally validated vehicle model, as well as the proof-of-concept experiments on an electric quadricycle prototype, highlight the benefits of the novel controllers.

Giuseppe Guastadisegni, Kai Man So, Alberto Parra, Davide Tavernini, Umberto Montanaro, Patrick Gruber, Leonardo Soria, Giacomo Mantriota, Aldo Sorniotti (2023)Vehicle Stability Control Through Pre-Emptive Braking, In: International journal of automotive technology24(2)pp. 347-365 Korean Soc Automotive Engineers-Ksae

Next-generation accurate vehicle localization and connectivity technologies will enable significant improvements in vehicle dynamics control. This study proposes a novel control function, referred to as pre-emptive braking, which imposes a braking action if the current vehicle speed is deemed safety-critical with respect to the curvature of the expected path ahead. Differently from the implementations in the literature, the pre-emptive braking input is designed to: a) enhance the safety of the transient vehicle response without compromising the capability of reaching the cornering limit, which is a significant limitation of the algorithms proposed so far; and b) allow - in its most advanced implementation - to precisely constrain the sideslip angle to set levels only through the pre-emptive control of the longitudinal vehicle dynamics, without the application of any direct yaw moment, typical of conventional stability control systems. To this purpose, a real-time-capable nonlinear model predictive control (NMPC) formulation based on a double track vehicle prediction model is presented, and implemented in its implicit form, which is applicable to both human-driven and automated vehicles, and acts as an additional safety function to compensate for human or virtual driver errors in extreme conditions. Its performance is compared with that of: i) two simpler - yet innovative with respect to the state-of-the-art - pre-emptive braking controllers, namely an NMPC implementation based on a dynamic point mass vehicle model, and a pre-emptive rule-based controller; and ii) a benchmarking non-pre-emptive rule-based trail braking controller. The benefits of pre-emptive braking are evaluated through vehicle dynamics simulations with an experimentally validated vehicle model, as well as a proof-of-concept implementation on an automated electric vehicle prototype.

Gaetano Tavolo, Kai Man So, Davide Tavernini, Pietro Perlo, Aldo Sorniotti (2023)On Antilock Braking Systems With Road Preview Through Nonlinear Model Predictive Control, In: IEEE transactions on industrial electronics (1982)pp. 1-13 IEEE

State-of-the-art antilock braking systems (ABS) are reactive, i.e., they activate after detecting that wheels tend to lock in braking. With vehicle-to-everything (V2X) connectivity becoming a reality, it will be possible to gather information on the tire-road friction conditions ahead, and use these data to enhance wheel slip control performance, especially during abrupt friction level variations. This study presents a nonlinear model predictive controller (NMPC) for ABS with preview of the tire-road friction profile. The potential benefits, optimal prediction horizon, and robustness of the preview algorithm are evaluated for different dynamic characteristics of the brake actuation system, through an experimentally validated simulation model. Proof-of-concept experiments with an electric vehicle prototype highlight the real-time capability of the proposed NMPC ABS, and the associated wheel slip control performance improvements in braking maneuvers with high-to-low friction transitions.

Kai So, Yoke Wong, Geok Hong, Wen Lu (2016)An improved energy management strategy for a Battery/Ultracapacitor Hybrid Energy Storage System in Electric Vehicles, In: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) Conference Proceedingspp. 1-6

Battery/Ultracapacitor (UC) Hybrid Energy Storage Systems for Electric Vehicles have been proposed to increase battery cycle life and driving range. Existing works focus on power management strategies of the battery and UC, while energy management strategies are still relatively empirical. We propose a more rigorous method of setting the target UC energy level using a speed-dependent band. This allows the UC to contain sufficient energy for future accelerations, and have sufficient capacity to store energy from future regenerative braking. Furthermore, by adjusting the band height, the UC size in terms of energy stored can be reduced significantly. We show other works cannot achieve both goals simultaneously unless their UCs are sized larger (up to three times).

Kai Man So, Geok Soon Hong, Wen Feng Lu (2021)An improved speed-dependent battery/ultracapacitor hybrid energy storage system management strategy for electric vehicles, In: Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Part D, Journal of automobile engineering235(14)pp. 3459-3473 Sage

Battery/Ultracapacitor (UC) Hybrid Energy Storage Systems (HESS) for Electric Vehicles (EVs) have been frequently proposed in the literature to increase battery cycle life. The HESS consists of a Power Management Strategy (PMS) and an Energy Management Strategy (EMS). Existing EMS are quite empirical, such as setting constant target UC energy levels regardless of load. This work presents an improved complete HESS management strategy. The EMS involves a more comprehensive method of setting the target UC energy level using a speed-dependent band. This allows the UC to achieve two goals - contain sufficient energy for future accelerations and have sufficient space for capturing energy from future regenerative braking - without knowledge of the future drive profile. The PMS involves a speed-dependent battery power limit, which also achieves two goals - better UC utilization and allowing the battery to supply the steady state power. Simulations show existing works cannot achieve the four goals simultaneously unless their UCs are sized twice as large compared to the proposed rule-based HESS. In addition, the proposed HESS extends battery cycle life by up to 42% compared to a battery-only system. Lastly, a reduced-scale experiment was built to show that the proposed HESS is able to run in real-time.