Platform trucks are robust industrial vehicles designed to pull or push large loads. To ensure the safety of the vehicle movement, certain speed limits may not be exceeded depending on the trailer mass and the ground slope.
To assist the operator with this task, the vehicle performs an estimation of the current slope and trailer mass using acceleration and gyroscope measurements in a model-based estimator. The estimated values are further used to improve the controller performance for safety-increasing assistance functions.
One difficulty that arises is the low information content of the vehicle movement about the trailer mass in many driving situations. This has to be considered in the design of the estimator.
For validation and testing of the estimation and control algorithms, a complex simulation model of the vehicle dynamics is developed.