Vehicle Dynamics

Holders: Prof. Klemenc Jernej

Subject description


The fundamental physical, mathematical and technical knowledge is required. Knowledge of the rules of technical documentation and machine elements. The students are advised to regularly attend the lectures, the attendance at the exercises and active participation at the exercises is mandatory.

Mathematics (from B.Sc. level)
Physics (from B.Sc. level)
Basic knowledge of technical mechanics (statics and load-carrying capacity from B.Sc. level)
Basic knowledge of kinematics (from B.Sc. level)
Basic knowledge of Machine design or Machine elements (from B.Sc. level)
Basic knowledge of engineering thermodynamics (from B.Sc. level)

Content (Syllabus outline)

  • The structure of road vehicles, off-road vehicles, wheeled and tracked vehicles, subassembly functionality.
  • Structure of other mobile equipment vehicles and subassembly functionality.
  • The overview of vehicle dynamics and classification.
  • Wheels and tires (rolling, friction, sliding during acceleration and deceleration, vertical load, consequences and tire suspension, side loads, spatial cornering).
  • Driving and braking (tractive resistance, drive, prime movers and transmissions, driving performance, limit values of driving, mechanical actuators in the drive system, braking, forces and moment, braking distance, distribution of braking forces, mechatronic systems for braking control).
  • Fundamentals of vehicle oscillation (single-mass, multi-mass systems, excitation of oscillations, suspension and damping).
  • Roadway irregularities, fundamentals of terramechanics.
  • Steering and directional stability (forces, kinematic and dynamic description, understeering, oversteering, instabilities and the influences thereon).
  • Specifications for driving off-road (terramechanics, tracks, equipment).
  • Modeling dynamic phenomena (simple and advanced models, equations of motion and simulations).
  • Vehicle classification and unification according to the driveability and performance.

Objectives and competences


To master the intersection of the spaces vehicle-driver-environment. The parameters for the description, criteria and boundary conditions have to be defined for this purpose. The foundation is knowing the vehicle (structure, characteristics, classifications etc.) and the main functional assemblies. Understanding the dynamic contact between a vehicle in motion and the environment. Knowledge of vehicle steering and the role of mechanical subsystems in control and driver support.


The subject matter qualifies the students for the design work and developmental work on vehicle elements, actuators, sensors and control systems. The course enables the students to study the dynamical phenomena occurring during vehicle operation and to determine the driving limit values and excess phenomena at operation as the starting point for vehicle control in the traffic, in case of an accident and so forth.

Intended learning outcomes

16.1 Knowledge and understanding

The students are able to make conclusions about dynamic phenomena while driving on the road and off-road, and about the effects of these phenomena on the vehicle, driving and steering.

16.2 Usage

This knowledge enables the description of kinematic and dynamic phenomena and the influences on the operating state in the development process, as well as the description of operating phenomena.

16.3 Reflection

The knowledge enables the students to do deductive and inductive reasoning, as well as critical analysis in developmental and expert work.

16.4 Transferrable skills – related to more than one course

The knowledge attained enables the students to understand different problems in other technical fields and to solve composite problems. The students develop the ability to do work in a team consisting of different specialists, the ability to do engineer's decisions and to make autonomous conclusions, as well as to use computer programs. The knowledge is also important for planning traffic safety.

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