Chalmers: Vehicle Dynamics

“A good car is not just a fast car… it is the one that goes the fastest around a corner.”  Praise Vehicle Dynamics!

Side note:

Chalmers has a lot of collaboration with industry on vehicle dynamics/autonomous driving. Chalmers also has a partnership with Stanford working on that autonomous Pike’s peak Audi TT. Super cool stuff! Professor Mathias Lidberg is the Chalmers man in charge.

Side note #2:

Colloquial: “Chalmers profs are super chill”. Professor Lidberg (well, we address him as Mathias) gave me a nickname “GoPro”, because I helped him with his GoPro video camera. Yep, he is also a fan of GoPro video camera. What a cool prof!

Screenshot 2015-03-12 14.38.50

Back to Vehicle Dynamics:

Sure, this course was quite challenging and somewhat essential to Automotive Engineering. The course studied basic vehicle-handling characteristics. What is …handling?

Motivation: have you ever sat in the back of a crappy minivan? If you have, then you might have some good clues why they are nicknamed “vomit comets”. When you come to a stop and your car is still wobbling up and down seconds after, it probably means you are driving a crappy car.

Screenshot 2015-03-12 14.39.19

How do we fix that?

The short answer is to study the car’s suspension geometry, springs and dampers – so they work with the rest of the car together in harmony.

We started modelling vehicles as a “bicycle” (if you think about it, cars are nothing but two bikes)… and we didn’t really go beyond the bicycle model either, because the model is so robust.

There was a lot of mathematics in this course. I had to dust off my Laplace transformation equations. Ok, I won’t go into the details about this course, as it will give me headaches. But here are some interesting thoughts…

1/ The Swedes here löv using LaTex for writing reports. And Yes, it looks super crisp!

2/ I mentioned that the Chalmers students are very proficient with Matlab. It is incredible how good they are! I still have a lot to catch up to them. Matlab is a handy tool to perform operations on large sets of data. Learn it before coming to Sweden.

3/ I described a study visit to the AstaZero test track. AstaZero is the world’s prime test ground for vehicle traffic safety. We were there to perform a few driving maneuverers, capture data, and…finally go home and analyse it. According to the data analysis, I am a jerky driver. Meh…

Screenshot 2015-03-12 14.39.50

I really enjoyed the course, as it was challenging, it had a mixture of theory and practically, and it had a very interesting hands-on lab project on the test track.

… but that exam was a little (too) difficult.


Så, exam season is upcoming. In fact I have an exam on Monday. Meanwhile, spring is in full swing. I am sitting on the grass, writing this blog…. Ummmm the grass isn’t completely dry…g2g!







Photos extracted from “Course compendium for MMF062”

This compendium also available as pdf file at © Copyright: Bengt Jacobson, Chalmers University of Technology


Below: my bike, beautiful in terms of vehicle dynamics in design.


Gimmy avatar


  • Agha Rohullah • 17 Aug 2016 at 5.12 pm Reply

    Hi Gimmy
    I’m Agha Rohullah .Iam High school student. my dream is to be a Automotive Designer .I love can you please help me that which subject i have to take in college .and what is nessecary for Automotive designer

    • Gimmy • 18 Aug 2016 at 12.03 am Reply

      Hi there, automotive designers and automotive engineers are very different occupations. One does the artistic work, while the latter does the numerical (ie. not so much art) work. Therefore they are very different career paths. Good luck, Gimmy

      • Agha Rohullah • 19 Aug 2016 at 8.07 pm Reply


  • Javier • 23 Jun 2015 at 4.47 am Reply


    Let me introduce myself, I’m Javier and I’m a young chilean master degree student. I think very interesting your blog. I need some help for modelling the vehicle dynamics, because I need this goal to do my thesis. If you have more information about this, please send me an email. Have a nice day, and see you, bye bye.

    • Gimmy Liu • 27 Jun 2015 at 1.17 pm Reply

      Hi Javier,

      What kind of modelling help are you seeking for?

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