The Illinois Roadway Simulator: A mechatronic testbed for vehicle dynamics and control

Scan Brennan, Andrew Alleyne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The Illinois Roadway Simulator (IRS) is a novel, mechatronic, scaled testbed used to study vehicle dynamics and controls. An overview of this system is presented, and individual hardware issues are addressed. System modeling results on the vehicles and hardware are introduced, and comparisons of the resulting dynamics are made with full-sized vehicles. To address the realism factor of using scaled vehicles, comparisons are made between dynamic responses of full-scale and IRS-scale vehicles. The method of dynamic similitude is a key to gaining confidence in the scaled testbed as an accurate representation of actual vehicles to a first approximation. The IRS is then used in a vehicle control case study to demonstrate the potential benefits of scaled investigations. The idea of driver-assisted control is formulated as a yaw-rate model-following problem based on the representation of the driver as a known disturbance model. The controller is designed and implemented to show that the vehicle's dynamics can be changed to match a prescribed reference model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-359
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Dr. Alleyne was the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 1996.


  • Dynamic similitude
  • Mechatronics
  • Road vehicle control
  • Scaling


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