Soll parameter identification and driving force prediction for wheel-terrain interaction

Suksun Hutangkabodee, Yahya Zweiri, Lakmal Saneviratne, Kaspar Althoefar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


This paper considers wheeled vehicles traversing unknown terrain, and proposes an approach for identifying the unknown soil parameters required for vehicle driving force prediction (drawbar pull prediction). The predicted drawbar pull can potentially be employed for traversability prediction, traction control, and trajectory following which, in turn, improve overall performance of off-road wheeled vehicles. The proposed algorithm uses an approximated form of the wheel-terrain interaction model and the Generalized Newton Raphson method to identify terrain parameters in real-time. With few measurements of wheel slip, i, vehicle sinkage, z, and drawbar pull, DP, samples, the algorithm is capable of identifying all the soil parameters required to predict vehicle driving forces over an entire range of wheel slip. The algorithm is validated with experimental data from a wheel-terrain interaction test rig. The identified soil parameters are used to predict the drawbar pull with good accuracy. The technique presented in this paper can be applied to any vehicle with rigid wheels or deformable wheels with relatively high inflation pressure, to predict driving forces in unknown environments.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)425-432
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2008


  • Driving force prediction
  • Soil parameter
  • Wheeled vehicle


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