Optimal Lap Time for a Race Car: A Planar Multibody Dynamics Approach

  • Jorge AmbrósioEmail author
  • Luís Marques
Conference paper
Part of the Mechanisms and Machine Science book series (Mechan. Machine Science, volume 71)


The optimal lap time for a race vehicle in a race track represents the minimum possible time for a vehicle to negotiate a complete round about the racetrack. In this work, a 2D multibody dynamic analysis program is developed to allow modelling and simulating the vehicle and racetrack scenario by implementing all the necessary kinematic constraints, which includes a steering constraint for a 4-wheel vehicle with a front steering axle and the necessary force elements including traction and braking and tyre-road contact. A trajectory optimization, on a given track with a prescribed geometry, which is obtained by a mix of the shortest and the least curvature paths with a speed profile optimized within limits for the longitudinal and lateral vehicle accelerations. A controller is developed to enforce that the vehicle follows the optimal path and the speed profile. This controller uses a preview distance, which allows for the vehicle to find its way even when it starts or goes off-track. The controller and the dynamic analysis program are demonstrated in a scenario in which the behavior of a race car in a realistic racetrack is analyzed.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IDMEC, Instituto Superior Técnico, University of LisbonLisbonPortugal

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