Improving Subjective Assessment of Vehicle Dynamics Evaluations by means of Computer-Tablets as Digital Aid


AbstractVehicle dynamics development relies on subjective assessments (SA), which is a resource-intensive procedure requiring both expert drivers and vehicles. Furthermore, development projects becoming shorter and more complex, and increasing demands on quality require higher efficiency. Most research in this area has focused on moving from physical to virtual testing. However, SA remains the central method. Less attention has been given to provide better tools for the SA process itself. One promising approach is to introduce computer-tablets to aid data collection, which has proven to be useful in medical studies. Simple software solutions can eliminate the need to transcribe data and generate more flexible and better maintainable questionnaires. Tablets' technical features envision promising enhancements of SA, which also enable better correlations to objective metrics, a requirement to improve CAE evaluations. However, it cannot be assumed that a tablet-based solution is feasible in vehicle dynamics SA context. Any distraction might result in low SA quality and safety issues when test-drivers are subjected to high mental workload pushing the vehicles to their performance-limits. In this study, a SA tablet-software for steering feel, handling, and ride was developed and systematically evaluated versus the traditional pen-and-paper method. The results indicate that the new approach is technically feasible in this context, meets more use-cases, and the drivers' attitude towards it is positive. It increased questionnaire completion and rating resolution while reducing the error rate and transcription time. Although attendees reported that the paper-based approach has advantages from a usability point of view, the benefits of the tablet-based approach enable further process-related advantages.

SAE Technical Paper