Modern vehicles include more and more control devices in order to increase the overall vehicle performance. Implementation of different power train control systems is aimed at improvement of drivability, emissions, and fuel economy. On the other hand, the application of interactive vehicle dynamics controls can significantly improve the vehicle safety, and increase the ride comfort and handling performance. Using optimal, adaptive, and predictive control strategies leads to increased energy efficiency of different types of electric vehicles and electric vehicle fleet charging systems. Finally, application of advanced artificial intelligence methods facilitates development of driver-assistance systems and future autonomous vehicles.
The existence of faithful mathematical dynamic models of automotive components and systems provides conducting different simulation studies and facilitates design of related control system. Since many automotive system variables needed for controls (e.g. engine torque) are not measured in production vehicles, they have to be calculated by real-time estimators. When it is difficult to describe complex, time-varying systems by means of physical models, estimation and also prediction can conveniently be based upon application of methods of machine learning, including deep learning.
The research activities of our group are aimed at development of dynamic models, estimators, and control strategies for different power train and vehicle dynamics systems, including those of electric and autonomous vehicles. Most of the developed models, estimators, and controllers are verified experimentally, by using our own experimental setups or based on experimental data provided by our industry partners. The research activities have been conducted through a number of projects supported by the Croatian Science Foundation, European Commission (through FP7, COST, and H2020 programs), Ford Motor Company, Jaguar Cars, and several domestic companies and public institutions. These activities have resulted in numerous publications including around 70 papers in prestigious journals, eight Ph. D. Theses, and four patents.