Modelling, Identification, and Optimal Lap Simulation of a Radio Controlled Race Car

Mustafa Alp

Politecnico di Milano

Tuesday, November 05, 2019, 11:00

Room 01-012, Georges-Köhler-Allee 102, Freiburg 79110, Germany

Radio Control (RC) Racing is a small but complex hobby where hobbyists design, assemble, tune, and race small scale cars on special race tracks. To have a better understanding of the dynamics of the vehicle, a more comprehensive analysis is performed as a Master’s thesis of Mechanical Engineering.

First, some parameters of the 1:10 scale vehicle are identified by CAD drawings and experimental tests. To have state estimates and control inputs of real maneuvers, a lightweight data acquisition system is realized. Then, a medium complexity mathematical model is constructed. After combining the mathematical model, identified vehicle parameters, and estimated states, tyre model parameter identification is performed. Different methods are discussed for a more complex tyre model estimation with more unknown parameters.

Finally, the mathematical model with identified vehicle and tyre parameters is used in an optimal control formulation of a race lap simulation. The track path is modelled using the curvilinear abscissa approach and optimal lap results are validated with telemetry data. Some adjustable parameters on the vehicle chassis are optimized with respect to pareto objectives which are mainly achieving faster lap times and better drivability. Future possibilities to use the validated vehicle setup & model for autonomous racing by MPC are discussed.