Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Electrical, Computer and Telecommunications Engineering


In-wheel motor (IWM) technology has attracted increasing research interests in recent years due to the numerous advantages it offers. However, the direct attachment of IWMs to the wheels can result in an increase in the vehicle unsprung mass and a significant drop in the suspension ride comfort performance and road holding stability. Other issues such as motor bearing wear motor vibration, air-gap eccentricity and residual unbalanced radial force can adversely influence the motor vibration, passenger comfort and vehicle rollover stability. Active suspension and optimized passive suspension are possible methods deployed to improve the ride comfort and safety of electric vehicles equipped with inwheel motor. The trade-off between ride comfort and handling stability is a major challenge in active suspension design.

This thesis investigates the development of novel active suspension systems for successful implementation of IWM technology in electric cars. Towards such aim, several active suspension methods based on robust H∞ control methods are developed to achieve enhanced suspension performance by overcoming the conflicting requirement between ride comfort, suspension deflection and road holding. A novel fault-tolerant H∞ controller based on friction compensation is in the presence of system parameter uncertainties, actuator faults, as well as actuator time delay and system friction is proposed. A friction observer-based Takagi-Sugeno (T-S) fuzzy H∞ controller is developed for active suspension with sprung mass variation and system friction. This method is validated experimentally on a quarter car test rig. The experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of proposed control methods in improving vehicle ride performance and road holding capability under different road profiles.

Quarter car suspension model with suspended shaft-less direct-drive motors has the potential to improve the road holding capability and ride performance. Based on the quarter car suspension with dynamic vibration absorber (DVA) model, a multi-objective parameter optimization for active suspension of IWM mounted electric vehicle based on genetic algorithm (GA) is proposed to suppress the sprung mass vibration, motor vibration, motor bearing wear as well as improving ride comfort, suspension deflection and road holding stability. Then a fault-tolerant fuzzy H∞ control design approach for active suspension of IWM driven electric vehicles in the presence of sprung mass variation, actuator faults and control input constraints is proposed. The T-S fuzzy suspension model is used to cope with the possible sprung mass variation. The output feedback control problem for active suspension system of IWM driven electric vehicles with actuator faults and time delay is further investigated. The suspended motor parameters and vehicle suspension parameters are optimized based on the particle swarm optimization. A robust output feedback H∞ controller is designed to guarantee the system’s asymptotic stability and simultaneously satisfying the performance constraints. The proposed output feedback controller reveals much better performance than previous work when different actuator thrust losses and time delay occurs.

The road surface roughness is coupled with in-wheel switched reluctance motor air-gap eccentricity and the unbalanced residual vertical force. Coupling effects between road excitation and in wheel switched reluctance motor (SRM) on electric vehicle ride comfort are also analysed in this thesis. A hybrid control method including output feedback controller and SRM controller are designed to suppress SRM vibration and to prolong the SRM lifespan, while at the same time improving vehicle ride comfort. Then a state feedback H∞ controller combined with SRM controller is designed for in-wheel SRM driven electric vehicle with DVA structure to enhance vehicle and SRM performance. Simulation results demonstrate the effectiveness of DVA structure based active suspension system with proposed control method its ability to significantly improve the road holding capability and ride performance, as well as motor performance.