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The dawn of the motor vehicle age occurred around 1769 when the French military engineer, Nicholas Joseph Cugnot 1725-1804), built athree-wheeled, steam-driven vehicle for the purpose of pulling artillery pieces I. Within a few years an improved model was built, only to cause the first automotive accident when it ran into a wall! This was followed by a steam-powered vehicle built in 1784 by the Scottish engineer, James Watt (1736-1819), which proved unworkable. By 1802, Richard Trevithick (1771-1833), an Englishman, developed a steam coach that traveled from Cornwal to London.




he coach met its demise by burning one night after Trevithick forgot to extinguish the boiler fire. Nevertheless, the steam coach business thrived in England until about 1865 when competition from the railroads and strict antispeed laws brought it to an end. The first practical automobiles powered by gasoline engines arrived in 1886 with the credit generally going to Karl Benz (1844-1929) and Gottlieb Daimler (1834-1900) working independently. Over the next decade, automotive vehicles were developed by many other pioneers with familiar names such as Rene Panhard, Emile Levassor, Armand Peugeot, Frank and Charles Duryea, Henry Ford, and Ransom Olds.
By 1908 the automotive industry was well established in the United States with Henry Ford manufacturing the Model T and the General Motors Corporation being founded. In Europe the familiar companies like Daimler, Opel, Renault, Benz, and Peugeot were becoming recognized as automotive manufacturers. By 1909, over 600 makes of American cars had been identified.In the early decades of the 1900s, most of the engineering energy of the automotive industry went into invention and design that would yield faster, more comfortable, and more reliable vehicles.
The speed capability of motor vehicles climbed quickly in the embryonic industry as illustrated by the top speeds of some typical production cars, as shown in Figure 1.2.In general, motor vehicles achieved high speed capability well before good paved roads existed on which to use it. With higher speeds the dynamics of the vehicles, particularly turning and braking, assumed greater importance as an engineering concern. The status of automotive engineering during this period was characterized in the reminiscences of Maurice Olley [4] as follows: “There had been sporadic attempts to make the vehicle ride decently. but little had been done.




The rear passengers still functioned as ballast, stuck out behind the rearwheels. Steering was frequently unstable and the front axle with front brakes made shimmy almost inevitable.The engineers had made allthe partsfunction excellently, but when put togetherthe whole was seldom satisfactory" One of the first engineers to write on automotive dynamics was Frederick William Lanchester (1868-1946). (In a 1908 paper [5] he observed that a car with tiller steering "oversteers" if the centrifugal force on the driver's hands pushes toward greater steer angle 16].) Steering shimmy problems were prevalent at that time as well. \
Today with the computational power in desktop and mainframe computrs, a major shortcoming of the analytical method has been overcome. It is now possible to assemble models (equations) for the behavior of individual components of a vehicle, allowing simulation and evaluation of its behavior before being rendered in hardware.Within a few years an improved model was built, only to cause the first automotive accident when it ran into a wall! This was followed by a steam-powered vehicle built in 1784 by the Scottish engineer, James Watt (1736-1819), which proved unworkable. By 1802, Richard Trevithick (1771-1833), an Englishman, developed a steam coach that traveled from Cornwal to London.

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