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Sensors and Actuators A 161 (2010) 134–142

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Sensors and Actuators A: Physical

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A vision-based approach to wheel camber angle and tyre loaded

radius measurement
Christophe Lamy a,b,∗ , Michel Basset a
MIPS Laboratory, Université de Haute-Alsace, 12 rue des Frères Lumière, 68093 Mulhouse, France
RENAULT s.a.s., DREAM/DTAA, Centre Technique Renault, Parc de Gaillon, 27940 Aubevoye, France

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: The accurate determination of a vehicle’s lateral behaviour is necessary in the domain of vehicle dynamics
Received 15 June 2009 to improve vehicle safety. Its interaction with the road surface must be understood thoroughly, which
Received in revised form 13 March 2010 requires the integration of a force model, representing the tyre–ground interface, into the global vehicle
Accepted 12 April 2010
model. The validity of such a model directly depends on its nature and more particularly on the accurate
Available online 7 May 2010
determination of its inputs and outputs. This paper focuses on one input: the wheel camber angle. Studies
in collaboration with a car maker have shown that a measurement error below 0.1◦ is necessary to identify
the tyre model parameters from real data accurately. At the same time, measurement performance must
Vehicle dynamics
Tyre modelling
be insensitive to the test conditions, and more particularly to the road surface (tyre–road grip). For
Wheel camber angle these reasons, a novel vision-based method for direct camber determination has been developed and a
Tyre loaded radius measurement prototype has been designed. Its vision-based principle is mainly aimed at giving accurate
Measurement prototype measurement. Its precision is robust to the road’s unevenness and the vehicle’s velocity; the tyre loaded
Camera vision radius is determined at the same time. The novel method’s feasibility and the measurement performance
of the designed prototype have been studied from real vehicle-on-track measurements with a test car.
© 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction representation of the tyre–road interaction for vehicle dynamics

simulations. They have to be measured accurately whatever the
As a vehicle is a complex system, a thorough comprehension type or road surface, i.e. for low, medium and high tyre–road grip.
requires efficient models of the different subsystems which com- Therefore, their measurement principle must be quasi insensitive
pose it. to the road surface.
Even though the tyre behaviour is directly related to the vehi- The aim of the present study is the improved determination
cle/road interaction, the interface between the wheel (rim + tyre) (high accuracy and low sensitivity to the road surface) of one of the
and the ground must be considered. inputs: the wheel camber angle. Moreover, the tyre loaded radius
Extensive research has been carried out to model the tyre–road is determined simultaneously.
interface as accurately as possible. An overview and a classification This paper is organized as follows: in the second section, the
considering knowledge, semi-empirical or empirical approaches camber angle is briefly defined, then the existing measurement
have been made by Porcel et al. [1]. The most commonly used means are presented and compared. The third section is dedicated
model is Pacejka’s semi-empiric tyre model [2] based on the Magic to the measurement principle developed. In the fourth part, the
Formula (MF). feasibility of the measurement method is validated and its mea-
For a given tyre–road adhesion coefficient, the inputs considered surement performance is evaluated from real tests with a test car
are the longitudinal slip, the lateral tyre slip angle, the normal load of the MIPS-MIAM laboratory.
and the wheel camber angle. The forces and moments generated
are considered as outputs.
As explained in [3], the accurate determination (measurement 2. Wheel camber angle and tyre loaded radius
or estimation) of the inputs and outputs is necessary to improve the
2.1. Definitions and conventions

∗ Corresponding author at: MIPS Laboratory, Université de Haute-Alsace,

2.1.1. Wheel camber angle
12 rue des Frères Lumière, 68093 Mulhouse, France. Tel.: +33 3 89 33 69 57;
There are different definitions of the wheel camber angle ().
fax: +33 3 89 42 32 82. Here, it is defined as the angle between the central plane of the
E-mail address: (C. Lamy). wheel and a plane perpendicular to the road – considered as a plane

0924-4247/$ – see front matter © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
C. Lamy, M. Basset / Sensors and Actuators A 161 (2010) 134–142 135

Fig. 1. Selected definitions of wheel camber angle and tyre loaded radius.

– as shown in Fig. 1. The camber is defined as positive when the top

Fig. 2. The different steps of the measurement principle.
of the tyre is outside the vehicle body and negative in the opposite
3. Novel vision-based approach

2.1.2. Tyre loaded radius

3.1. Measurement requirements
In addition to the measurement of , the determination of the
tyre loaded radius (RL ), as shown in Fig. 1, is useful to predict the
The main interest of the present solution is to measure the wheel
rollover behaviour of a car.
camber angle with a small measurement error (high accuracy and
precision), and with measurement performance insensitive to the
2.1.3. Measurement error road unevenness and vehicle velocity. Exhaustive measurement
To evaluate the proposed solution, it is necessary to determine requirements (specifications) have been determined to ensure
its measurement error which includes precision and accuracy. Here, accurate tyre model identification from vehicle-on-track tests,
the measurement precision () is considered as three times the which is required for vehicle dynamics modelling. The determina-
standard deviation of the measurement signal, called  (1). This tion principle is described in [4]. The measurement requirements
relation is used to compute the measurement precision in quasi which have been defined are the following:
steady state manoeuvres, i.e. when the camber angle and the tyre
loaded radius are quasi constant. • wheel camber angle range: ±10◦ ;
• tyre loaded radius variations: ±50 mm;
 = 3 (1) • wheel steering range: full range;
• data acquisition rate: 100 Hz;
The measurement accuracy (E) is defined as the difference • wheel camber measurement precision: 0.1◦ ;
between the mean value of the measurement signal (S̄) and the ref- • wheel camber measurement accuracy: 0.1◦ ;
erence value to be measured, called Sref , during quasi steady state • tyre loaded radius measurement precision: 1 mm;
manoeuvres (2). • tyre loaded radius measurement accuracy: 1 mm;
• bandwidth: 10 Hz.
E = S̄ − Sref (2)
3.2. Measurement principle of the new approach
2.2. Existing methods for wheel camber angle determination
3.2.1. General structure
Three major principles can be used to determine the wheel The different steps of the measurement principle are presented
camber angle: direct measurement, indirect measurement and in Fig. 2. Fig. 3 shows the design of the prototype which has been
‘computation method’. designed to evaluate the proposed method.
The direct measurement method is relatively low-cost, easy
to implement, but has a main drawback: measurement precision 3.2.2. Interest of the proposed novel measurement method
is highly dependent on the road surface and vehicle speed. The The novel vision-based measurement principle consists in the
indirect measurement technique is relatively costly and requires projection of a laser pattern ahead of the tyre–road contact patch
important measurement means. The existing industrial sensors and the real-time tracking of the pattern using a camera mounted
dedicated to the wheel/body camber angle measurement are bulky ‘on the wheel’. The laser pattern is projected on the road by a laser
and difficult to implement. The computation method requires which integrates a refractive beam shaper which converts a Gaus-
indoor vehicle measurement systems which are relatively costly; sian beam into a diverging, focused, or collimated flat-top profile
consequently, it is meant for car makers or tyre manufacturers. (here, the road). The laser is also fitted ‘on the wheel’ and remains
For all these reasons, a new vision-based measurement fixed relative to the wheel and the camera whatever the wheel
approach is proposed and described in the next section. motion (steering, braking, tyre radial deflection). The pattern lines
136 C. Lamy, M. Basset / Sensors and Actuators A 161 (2010) 134–142

Fig. 3. Diagram of the measurement prototype: front view (a) and side view (b).

in the images are detected through post processing using a common As long as the laser is only rotated around the wheel vertical
line detection technique: the Hough Transform (HT), as described axis (variations of the wheel camber) or is subject to pure lateral or
in Section 3.2.5. Once the pattern lines have been detected in the longitudinal displacements (lateral or longitudinal tyre slips), the
images, a number of pattern parameters are computed (distances pattern is not deformed (see Fig. 3).
and angles). So, it is possible to simultaneously determine the vertical
A mathematical model is then used for the calculation of the displacement and the rotation angle (around the wheel’s ver-
wheel camber angle  and the tyre loaded radius RL from the tical axis) of the laser from the pattern deformation. To do
considered pattern parameters values. The two only variables so, some pattern characteristics (side lengths, corner angles,
of the mathematical model are  and RL . The model equations positioning) which represent the pattern deformation must be
are based on geometrical equations and a homographic matrix, computed.
whose constant parameters (camera characteristics, camera-wheel In a real context, the laser vertical displacement corresponds
centre position and orientation, laser-camera position and orien- to the tyre normal deflection (in the road axis system), while its
tation, laser inter beam angle) are accurately known. Indeed, they rotation around the wheel’s longitudinal axis is due to wheel cam-
were accurately determined in advance and a specific mechani- bering. So, the wheel camber angle () and the tyre vertical position
cal adapter was manufactured for mounting all the measurement of the camera according to the road (tzc ) can be determined with
devices (camera and laser) ‘on the wheel’, more precisely in a plane a number of pattern parameters. The loaded radius (RL ) can be
parallel to the wheel rim edge plane. This mechanical adapter helps deduced from , tzc and the nominal tyre radius (R0 ), following Eq.
to ensure that the position and the orientation of the three mea- (3).
surement devices are always the same, whatever the test car –  
and consequently the wheel – equipped with it. This is detailed RL = R0 + (tzc − R0 ) · cos   (3)
in Section 3.2.3. At the same time, this ensures that the constant
parameters of the mathematical model are defined accurately. 3.2.4. Vision-based tracking of the dynamic laser pattern
The main interest of using such a measurement method is that deformation
the line detection technique is virtually insensitive to the road The proposed solution is based on the use of a camera fitted into
unevenness and to the vehicle speed. a plane parallel to the wheel rim plane. So, the camera positioning
according to the laser is not time variant, despite the wheel motion.
3.2.3. Projection of a laser pattern ahead of the tyre–road contact The laser pattern deformation can be followed by the camera, while
patch the wheel cornering, the tyre loaded radius and the wheel camber
A laser is fitted into a plane parallel to the wheel rim plane via vary respectively in their full variation range. The characteristics
a specific mechanical hub adapter developed by the MIPS-MIAM and positioning of the camera and the laser (focal distance and inter
laboratory. The characteristics and the validity of the adapter have beam angle) must be defined accurately.
already been investigated and presented in [5]. The laser integrates The measurement accuracy and precision of  and RL are rel-
a refractive beam shaper which projects a laser pattern on the road ative to the determination accuracy and precision of the pattern
surface. When the laser is orthogonal to the projection surface, the characteristics used. The measurement sensitivity depends on the
laser pattern shape is a square. As the laser is not orthogonal to the level of the pattern deformation (variation of the pattern parame-
road surface (see Figs. 3 and 7), the pattern shape is a rhombus. The ters used) according to the variations of  and RL (in their full range).
only variation of the distance (no rotation around the tyre longi- The measurement resolution is relative to the camera resolution (in
tudinal axis), causes a relative homothetic variation of the pattern pixels) and to the resolution of the method used to determine the
dimensions. In this case, there is no variation of the pattern corner pattern parameters. The data acquisition rate is equal to the camera
angles. Conversely, if the laser is rotated around the wheel longitu- frame rate. So, the measurement rate is equal to the camera frame
dinal axis and its distance from the road surface does not change, rate, if data processing (image processing + computation of  and
the values of the 4 pattern corner angles vary. RL ) occurs between two instants of image acquisition. In the case
C. Lamy, M. Basset / Sensors and Actuators A 161 (2010) 134–142 137

Fig. 4. Straight line test at 22 m/s: image before (a) and after (b) detection of the 4 pattern lines.

of a camera frame rate of 100 Hz, the total computation time must the road (road axis system), using two geometrical functions, called
be below 10 ms. Fg1 and Fg2 . The second step consists in calculating  and RL from
As far as vision is concerned, it is clear that the measurement D1pix and D2pix . The computation uses a homographic matrix (H),
precision is highly dependent on the noise of the images. Therefore, as described in the second following subsection.
the Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) must be optimized, which is possible
with the use of a laser with a wavelength of 650 nm (red light) and 3.3.1. Determination of 2 geometrical functions: Fg1 and Fg2
a Near Infra Red (NIR) camera with an integrated optical band-pass D1 and D2 can be determined from  and RL with two geomet-
filter around 650 nm. rical functions, respectively called Fg1 and Fg2 . Both functions use
constant parameters which are the position and the orientation of
3.2.5. Detection of the pattern lines in the images the laser in the wheel axis system and the inter beam angle (ı)
To determine the required pattern parameters, one solution is of the beam shaper. The only variables which correspond to the
to detect the pattern lines in the images acquired with the camera. variations of the laser positioning in the road axis system are ␥
However, image noise is caused by the road texture and ambient and RL . The constant positioning parameters are ty0 , tz0 and ˇ0 , as
light. Indeed, most reflective objects of the road surface (typically shown in Fig. 3. They were measured with high accuracy using a
white gravel) can be mistaken for with pixels corresponding to 3D-measurement machine whose measurement accuracies are:
the laser pattern in the images. Here, the HT technique has been
selected, particularly for reasons of computation time and robust- • Orientation: 0.001◦
ness against image noise [6–8]. Once the lines have been detected • Position: 1 ␮m
and reconstructed, the coordinates of the 4 pattern corners can be
deduced from their intersections. The knowledge of these coordi- The value of the inter beam angle ı was determined through
nates allows the computation of the lengths of the 4 pattern lines static measurements. The determined value is very close to the
and the 4 corner angles between two consecutive lines which con- value given by the manufacturer (here 6.13◦ instead of 6◦ ).
stitute the pattern. Once all the constant parameters were determined, both geo-
metrical functions, Fg1 and Fg2 , were identified. So, D1 and D2 can Adaptive thresholding and application of the Hough Trans- be expressed as follows:
form. An adaptive thresholding is applied to each image before the
D1 = Fg1 (, RL , ˛d0 , ˇd0 , d0 , txd0 , tyd0 , tzd0 , ı)
line detection, in order to improve the SNR. Here, the SNR is the
D2 = Fg2 (, RL , ˛d0 , ˇd0 , d0 , txd0 , tyd0 , tzd0 , ı)
ratio between the sum of the pixel amplitudes corresponding to
the pattern and the sum of the pixel amplitudes corresponding to Note that Fg1 and Fg2 were validated through static tests once
the other pixels in the image. the laser inter beam angle ı was determined through specific tests
A number of tests have shown that the developed method gives and the constant orientation and position parameters were mea-
good results up to a certain SNR level: typically, tests in sunlight sured by the 3D-measurement machine. The 3D-measurement of
conditions and on a white gravel surface. In this case, the SNR is the camera centre and the laser centre consisted in measuring 4
too low to detect the pattern lines efficiently. For this reason, the points at the two extreme planes of each, then in calculating the
feasibility study of the present method was performed for different centre from the coordinates of the 4 points.
classic road surfaces (concrete, asphalt, etc.) and normal ambient
luminosities. Fig. 4 shows an example of line detection in normal 3.3.2. Homographic matrix: H
test conditions. H is the product of two matrices: the first one, called A (3 × 3
matrix), is composed of constant parameters which are the camera
3.3. Computation of  and RL characteristics:

Two parameters of the pattern in the image are determined to • focal distance (f);
compute  and RL : they are the lengths of both pattern diagonals • pixel size (px × py );
in the images, called D1pix and D2pix . So, the computation of  and • coordinates of the reference point in the image axis system (u0
RL is equivalent to solving a system of two geometrical equations and v0 ).
whose variables are  and the variation of the tyre loaded radius
(RL ), following Eq. (7). The first step in the computation method All the parameters are shown in Fig. 5. The values of these
is to determine both pattern diagonals in the road axis system (in parameters are those given by the camera manufacturer. A cali-
metres), called D1 and D2, as functions of  and RL . They are com- bration phase led to the conclusion that the values given by the
puted from the position and the orientation of the laser relative to manufacturer can be used in the computation of the homographic
138 C. Lamy, M. Basset / Sensors and Actuators A 161 (2010) 134–142

Fig. 5. Homogeneous axis system transformation: extrinsic (a) and intrinsic (b) parameters.

matrix. Indeed, the evaluated differences were below 5% for each Homographic matrix: H = A × P
camera parameter, which finally causes errors in the computation    
of  and RL below 1%. u xr
v =H yr , (6)
1 1
Intrinsic matrix: A
⎡ ⎤    
  xc D1pix D1(, RL )
U = H(, RL ) ·
⎢y ⎥ D2pix D2(, RL ) , (7)
V =A·⎣ c⎦ (4) 1 1
The two only variables of matrix P are the vertical translation (tx )

with and the rotation around the longitudinal axis (Ow X ) of the road
axis system (˛). tz and ˛ are directly deduced from the camera
⎡ 1 ⎤
0 u0   position in the wheel axis system, and from  and RL , following
⎢ px ⎥ f 0 0 0 Eq. (5). Consequently, matrix P can be considered as a function of
A=⎢ 0 1 ⎥· 0 f 0 0
⎣ v0 ⎦  and RL , and can be expressed as P(,RL ).
py 0 0 1 0 As D1 and D2 are two geometrical functions of  and RL (respec-
0 0 1 tively called Fg2 (, RL ) and Fg2 (, RL )),  and RL can be determined
by solving the first two equations of the following system of equa-
Extrinsic matrix: P tions (7).
The second matrix, called P, is the product of two matrices, R Fig. 6 shows an example of the variations of  and RL with respect
and T (respectively 3 × 3 and 3 × 1 matrices), which respectively to D1pix and D2pix for a 205/55R16 tyre with a nominal normal load
correspond to the rotations and to the translations of the camera of 3618 N and an inflation pressure of 2.4 bars.
axis system relative to the road axis system. In the assumption of
a flat road (Z = 1), the coordinates of the pixels corresponding to 3.3.3. H matrix computation requirements
the laser pattern in the camera images (u and v) are relative to the D1pix and D2pix are computed once the pattern lines have been
corresponding coordinates in the road axis system (xr and yr ) from detected in the image. As the acquired images are noisy, the deter-
Eq. (6). mination of the inclination angles of the pattern lines is affected by
⎡ ⎤ ⎡ ⎤ the noise. Consequently, the computation of H (including the deter-
xc xr
mined values of D1pix and D2pix ) is also affected by the noise, which
⎢ yc ⎥ ⎢ yr ⎥
⎣ z ⎦ = P · ⎣ z ⎦, (5) causes a direct measurement error in the calculation of  and RL .
c r
This is why a sensitivity study was carried out through sim-
1 1
ulation (in Matlab) to determine the maximum error in the
with determination of the pattern line inclination angles in the images,
corresponding to the maximum (tolerable) measurement errors of
⎡ ⎤
rxx rxy rxz tx  and RL (including precision and accuracy −0.2◦ and 2 mm respec-
[R] [T ] ⎢ ryx ryy rvz ty ⎥ tively).
tz ⎦
P= , The simulation results show that the maximum error is ±0.3◦ in
0 1 rzx rzy rzz
0 0 0 1 the worst case, as this error is applied to the determination of the 4
pattern lines simultaneously. The error in the calculation of  and

⎡ ⎤
cos ˇ cos  sin ˛ sin ˇ cos  − cos ˛ sin  cos ˛ sin ˇ cos  + sin ˛ sin  tx
⎢ cos ˇ sin  sin ˛ sin ˇ sin  + cos ˛ cos  cos ˛ sin ˇ sin  − sin ˛ cos  ty ⎥
− sin ˇ sin ˛ cos ˇ cos ˛ cos ˇ tz ⎦
0 0 0 1
C. Lamy, M. Basset / Sensors and Actuators A 161 (2010) 134–142 139

Fig. 6. Example of variations of D1pix (a) and D2pix (b) according to  and RL .

RL directly depends on the nominal value of D1pix and D2pix , which 4.1. Test environment
are related to  and RL . So, the value of ±0.3◦ is related to the
worst case, i.e. when the values of D1pix and D2pix are the small- 4.1.1. Measurement prototype
est, which corresponds to the smallest values  and RL : −10◦ and Fig. 7 shows two pictures of the measurement prototype
250 mm respectively. The corresponding errors in the calculation mounted on a test car of the MIPS laboratory using the designed
of  and RL were more precisely evaluated at 0.19◦ and 0.91 mm wheel hub adapter.
respectively. The measurement prototype was manufactured once the geo-
metrical parameters (distances and angles) have been identified
from simulation. Their values were accurately measured with the
3D-measurement machine presented in Section 3.3.1. These mea-
4. Feasibility study and evaluation of measurement surements led to the conclusion that the manufactured adapter had
performance geometrical parameters very close to those determined through
simulation. So, the mechanical adapter ensures the accurate
A number of vehicle manoeuvres were carried out for feasi- mounting of the measurement prototype ‘on the wheel’, which in
bility study and evaluation of measurement performance. Firstly, turn maintains the geometrical values in the tests. The measured
different (indoor) tests were carried out in a steady state for geometrical parameter values are the following:
evaluation of the prototype measurement accuracy. Secondly,
the novel method feasibility was proven and the prototype • Camera-wheel geometrical parameters:
measurement precision was determined from (vehicle-on-track) - ˛c0 = 39◦ ;
quasi steady state tests. The next sections describe the test - ˇc0 = 37◦ ;
environment (prototype, hardware, software and overall com- - txc0 = 200 mm;
putation time), the vehicle manoeuvres and the test result - tyc0 = 150 mm;
analysis. - tzc0 = 76 mm.

Fig. 7. Measurement prototype.

140 C. Lamy, M. Basset / Sensors and Actuators A 161 (2010) 134–142

• Laser-wheel geometrical parameters:

- ˛d0 = 37◦ ;
- ˇd0 = 35◦ ;
- txd0 = 195 mm;
- tyd0 = 150 mm;
- tzd0 = 123 mm.

4.1.2. Overall computation time

The proposed method was evaluated in post processing in
the Matlab environment, using a classic personal computer (PC).
The acquisition of the camera images was performed via a ded-
icated image acquisition card, integrated in the PC. Real-time
measurement was not considered as a requirement in the fea-
sibility study which is carried in post processing. Due to the
Fig. 8. Steady state sine steer manoeuvre.
present inappropriate environment (Matlab), the overall com-
putation time (line detection and calculation of  and RL ) was
evaluated at 2 s. Therefore, the computation time should even be
ambient light). The test car driver did his best in each test to fol-
considerably reduced thanks to the implementation of the com-
low the reference trajectories and maintain the reference vehicle
plete real-time data processing, at 100 Hz, through embedded
speed. Fig. 9 shows an example of the steering angle measurement
in a test manoeuvre: a straight line followed by a ramp steer of
60◦ /s, at 22 m/s. Once the vehicle had reached the reference speed
4.1.3. Hardware and software in the straight line phase, the variations of damper deflection and
The feasibility of the method and the evaluation of the pro- wheel steering were quite low. Therefore,  and RL were considered
totype measurement performance (accuracy and precision) have constant in the straight line, which was useful for determination of
been studied using a laser with a wavelength of 635 nm (red light) the measurement precision. The measurement precision is consid-
and a diode power of 35 mW. Actually, it is a laser of the Lasiris ered as 3 times the standard deviation (3) of the measurement
SNF laser family1 which transforms the familiar laser dot into a signal in this part.
wide range of structured light patterns including single and multi- Fig. 10 shows the measurement of the wheel camber angle in
ple laser lines. In the present study, a square pattern with an inter the whole manoeuvre. A zoom on the straight line phase is made
beam angle of 6◦ is used.2 Note that the value of 6◦ – given by in Fig. 11.
the laser manufacturer – was validated through laboratory (indoor)
tests in a static state. Sensitivity to the geometric parameters. The different tests
A high resolution (1392 (H) × 1040 (V) pixels) near-infrared CCD
carried out here voluntarily included consecutive mountings of
camera, with a light band-pass filter around 640 nm, helped to
the measurement system (camera + laser + mechanical adapter) on
obtain the highest possible SNR in the images.3
the wheel. The aim was to determine the sensitivity of the sys-
The camera frame rate is 30 Hz, which will not be sufficient for
tem measurement error (accuracy + precision) to the geometric
further real-time measurement at 100 Hz. At the same time, the
parameters—here the position and the orientation of the whole
frequency of 30 Hz is clearly above the data rate in the present fea-
measurement system relative to the wheel coordinate frame. These
sibility study as the overall computation time using Matlab is of
tests showed that the possible uncertainty in the geometric param-
2 s. Nevertheless, the frequency of 30 Hz was necessary as it corre-
eters – which can be related to an error in the determination of the
sponds to the minimum frame rate required to avoid defocus effect
centres of the laser and the camera relative to the wheel coordi-
on the pattern in the images for vehicle speed up to 22 m/s.
nate frame – can be considered as negligible. Indeed, the different
tests carried out according the test procedure, presented in Section
4.2. Vehicle manoeuvres
4.2.2, led to the conclusion that the variations in the measurement
error (including precision and accuracy) were clearly below 0.1◦
4.2.1. Steady state tests
and 1 mm for  and RL respectively.
These tests helped to evaluate the measurement accuracy of the
prototype when the vehicle was at standstill. They aimed at directly
and easily compare the wheel camber angle and the tyre loaded
radius, measured by the prototype, with a reference (mechani-
cal) measurement device. The steering input, and consequently
the wheel camber angle, were accurately controlled using a motor
mounted on the steering column. Fig. 8 shows an example of the
results obtained in a sine steer manoeuvre (±0.26 rad at 0.2 Hz),
which corresponds to a classic driving situation: a straight line on
a highway at 28 m/s.

4.2.2. Quasi steady state tests

These tests aimed at evaluating the prototype measurement
precision in realistic driving conditions (paved road and classic

Laser data sheet available at
The square becomes a rhombus in the present application as the laser is not
orthogonal to the projection (road) surface.
Camera data sheet available at Fig. 9. Measured steering angle in the ramp steer manoeuvre of 60 ◦ /s at 22 m/s.
C. Lamy, M. Basset / Sensors and Actuators A 161 (2010) 134–142 141

in the straight line phase of the ramp steer manoeuvre. The incli-
nation measurement precision (at ±3) was evaluated at ±0.4◦ in
the straight line phase. This uncertainty directly causes a measure-
ment error (precision) in  and RL . Note that 0.4◦ is also the value
which was determined (in the sensitivity study) through simula-
tion by fixing  and RL at −0.2◦ and 300 mm respectively, as is
the case in the straight line of the test. This helped to validate the
results obtained in the sensitivity study on the H matrix computa-
tion requirements, i.e. on the necessary line detection requirements
in the determination of D1pix and D2pix .
Finally, all the quasi steady state tests have helped to determine
a measurement precision of 0.2◦ for the wheel camber angle and
1 mm for the tyre loaded radius.

4.3.3. Robustness
All the tests have shown the robustness of the proposed method
to road unevenness and vehicle speed. Indeed, the pattern is not
Fig. 10. Wheel camber angle computed in post processing in the ramp steer
deformed by the road unevenness in the images even for small vehi-
manoeuvre of 60◦ /s at 22 m/s.
cle speeds (higher than 0.5 m/s). Consequently, the measurement
error (accuracy and precision) is independent on the speed.

5. Conclusion

5.1. Conclusions on the present study

This paper has presented a new vision-based approach to the

direct determination of the wheel camber angle and the tyre loaded
radius. Existing solutions for wheel camber angle determination
have been considered with their advantages and drawbacks. A mea-
surement prototype was developed to validate the robustness of
the new method to road unevenness and vehicle speed, and to eval-
uate its measurement performance. Real tests were carried out with
a laboratory test car. For feasibility study, the wheel camber angle
and the tyre loaded radius were determined in post processing. The
test results have helped to the determine the measurement error
obtained with the current prototype. The results are highly promis-
Fig. 11. Zoom on the wheel camber angle measurement in the straight line phase ing in comparison with the desired measurement performance
of the test.
defined in collaboration with a car maker. Indeed, only the wheel
camber angle measurement precision has still to be improved. The
4.3. Test result analysis
developed measurement means is relatively low-cost in compar-
ison with the industrial measuring devices, which is a financial
4.3.1. Measurement accuracy
advantage for academic research. As it is small-size, it can be eas-
The comparison of the two types of measurement in the steady
ily mounted on a test vehicle and can be smoothly implemented.
state tests have led to the conclusion that measurement accuracy
The main current drawbacks have been canceled, and a number of
is clearly better than 0.1◦ for the wheel camber angle and below
advantages have been highlighted, particularly in term of robust-
1 mm for the tyre loaded radius.
ness to road unevenness and vehicle speed. So, it may become a
milestone in the research work on tyre–road interface modelling.
4.3.2. Measurement precision
Fig. 12 represents the inclination of one laser patter line, deter-
mined by applying the Hough transform to 100 consecutive images, 5.2. Prospects

The measurement hardware used in the present research work

was voluntarily limited in terms of performance, especially for rea-
sons of cost in a feasibility study. The current prototype is being
updated with more dedicated measurement devices, in order to
reach a wheel camber angle measurement accuracy of 0.1◦ . A spe-
cific light protection system could also be designed and added to the
current mechanical adapter for physical protection against ambient
light. This should considerably improve the Signal to Noise Ratio
and allow the measurements at the desired data rate. Once the
accuracy of 0.1◦ is reached and the robustness of the novel measure-
ment method to ambient light is proven through tests, the next step
could be the integration of the current prototype into a sensor. The
measurements should then be carried out in real-time, at 100 Hz,
Fig. 12. Uncertainty made on one line inclination angle determination trough the
application of the Hough Transform to 100 consecutive images, in the straight line through the implementation of data processing using embedded
phase of the test. C-code.
142 C. Lamy, M. Basset / Sensors and Actuators A 161 (2010) 134–142

Acknowledgments RL : tyre loaded radius measurement precision

B−3dB : Bandwidth at −3 dB
RL : variation of the tyre loaded radius RL around R0
The authors wish to thank Renault’s Research Department
ı: inter beam angle of the laser (beam shaper)
(DREAM/DTAA), more particularly Pierre Romieu and Bruno → → →
(Or , Xr , Yr , Zr ): road axis system
Dupuis, for their collaboration and their contribution to this study → → →

with the lending of test tracks in Aubevoye (France) and the possi- (Oc , Xc , Yc , Zc ): wheel axis system (rim edge plan)
 r , Yw , Zw ): camera axis system
(Oc , X
bility to carry out tests with a test car driver. → → →
(Od , Xd , Yd , Zd ): laser axis system
→ → →
(Oi , U , V , W ): image axis system
References → →
(O, ,  ): Hough plane (polar axis system)
[1] A. Porcel, P. Laurence, M. Basset, G.L. Gissinger, Tyre model for vehicle simula- (xr , yr , zr ): coordinates of a point in the road axis system
tion: overview and real time solution for critical situations, in: IEEE International (xw , yw , zw ): coordinates of a point in the wheel axis system
Conference on Control Applications, 2001. (xc , yx , zc ): coordinates of a point in the camera axis system
[2] H. Pacejka, E. Bakker, The magic formula tyre model, in: International Colloquium (u, v, w): coordinates of a point in the image axis system
on Tyre models for Vehicle Dynamics Analysis, 1991, pp. 1–18. ( , ): coordinates of a line in the Hough plane
[3] B. Zami, Contribution à l’identification de la liaison véhicule/sol d’un véhicule txc0 : longitudinal shift between the camera axis system and the wheel axis system
automobile. estimation des paramètres de modèles de pneumatiques, Ph.D. the- tyc0 : lateral shift between the camera axis system and the wheel axis system
sis, Université de Haute Alsace, 2005. tzc0 : vertical shift between the camera axis system and the wheel axis system
[4] C. Lamy, M. Basset, Vision-based determination of wheel camber angle and tire → →
deflection, in: IFAC WC 08, 2008. tzc : normal distance from 0c to the road plane (Xr , Yr )
[5] C. Lamy, J. Caroux, M. Basset, J.L. Gissinger, P. Romieu, D. Poli, Comparison of txd0 : longitudinal shift between the laser axis system and the wheel axis system
optical and gps/ins based tire slip angle estimation, in: 5th IFAC Symposium on txd0 : lateral shift between the camera axis system and the wheel axis system
Advances in Automotive Control, 2007. tzd0 : vertical shift between the laser axis system and the wheel axis system
→ →
[6] P. Hough, Methods and means for recognizing patterns, U.S. Patent 3,069,654
tzd : normal distance from 0d to the road plane (Xr , Yr )
(December 1962).
˛c0 : angle between the camera axis system and the wheel axis system, around
[7] R.O. Duda, P.E. Hart, Use of the Hough transformation to detect lines and curves →
in pictures, Communications of the ACM 15 (1972) 11–15. (0w , Xw )
[8] Y. Furukawa, Y. Shinagawa, Accurate and robust line segment extraction by ana- ˇc0 : angle between the camera axis system and the wheel axis system, around
lyzing distribution around peaks in Hough space, Computer Vision and Image →

Understanding 92 (2003) 1–25. (0w , Yw )

 c0 : angle between the camera axis system and the wheel axis system, around

(0w , Zw )
Glossary →
˛d0 : angle between the laser axis system and the wheel axis system, around (0w , Xw )

R0 : nominal tyre radius (at the nominal tyre load and the nominal tyre pressure) ˇd0 : angle between the laser axis system and the wheel axis system, around (0w , Yw )
RL : loaded (dynamic) wheel radius →
 d0 : angle between the laser axis system and the wheel axis system, around (0w , Zw )
RD: rim diameter →
RC: rim clearance ˛: angle between the wheel axis system and the road axis system, around (0r , Zr )
RW: rim width (equal to zero)

SH: rim side height
ˇ: angle between the wheel axis system and the road axis system, around (0r , Yr )
 0 : nominal wheel camber angle (at nominal tyre load)
(equal to zero)
: wheel (dynamic) camber angle →
 wheel/road : angle between the rim edge plane and the road plane : angle between the wheel axis system and the road axis system, around (0r , Xr )
 wheel/body : wheel/body camber angle
 body/road : vehicle roll angle
ıS : steering angle
V: vehicle velocity
 sim : simulated wheel camber angle Christophe Lamy is an engineer in automatic and signal processing (ENSISA, Mul-
 ref : reference (simulated) wheel camber angle house, 2005), Christophe Lamy specialized in vehicle dynamics. After a master
ref : reference (simulated) tyre longitudinal slip degree in system identification and communication at the Université de Haute
Fxref : reference (simulated) tyre longitudinal force Alsace (UHA) in 2006, he started a PhD thesis with the Renault’s Research Direc-
Fyref : reference (simulated) tyre lateral force tion and the MIPS laboratory of the UHA. The topic of his research work is the study
Fzref : reference (simulated) tyre vertical force of the tyre–road interface. The aim of his thesis is to contribute to the accurate deter-
Mzref : reference (simulated) tyre aligning torque mination of the tyre slip angle for tyre performance analysis from vehicle-on-track
Ay: vehicle lateral acceleration measurements.
Ayref : reference (simulated) vehicle lateral acceleration Michel Basset is a professor since 2005. More precisely, its research work is focused
˙ : vehicle yaw rate on the experimental modelling and the estimation of physical parameters for the
˙ ref : reference (simulated) vehicle yaw rate observation and the control of uncertain complex systems. He got a master degree
indicators : correlation (quadratic) error of the vehicle performance indicators (EEA) in 1991 at the Université de Haute Alsace, under the co-direction of Gérard
D1: length of the first pattern diagonal in the road axis system Gissinger and Marc Renner. He teaches the automatic of linear systems, the identifi-
D2: length of the second pattern diagonal in the road axis system cation and the monitoring of industrial systems, the methods of digital filtering, the
D1pix : length of the first pattern diagonal in the image axis system problematic of data acquisition, etc., at the engineer school ENSISA. Michel Basset
D2pix : length of the second pattern diagonal in the image axis system is head of the department “Automatic and Transport” of the MIPS laboratory since
f: camera focal distance 2002. Its research work is applied to the automotive and aeronautic domains. In this
context, he supervises PhD theses and gives lectures on automatic and transporta-
px : pixel length
tion systems. On the national hand, he participates actively to the working group of
py : pixel width
the Gdr MACS dedicated to automotive control, and is a head member of the “pôle
Fg1 : geometrical function to compute D1 from  and RL
de compétitivité Véhicule du Futur”. On the international hand, he is an active mem-
Fg2 : geometrical function to compute D2 from  and RL ber of the IFAC’s Automotive Control Technical Committee (TC 7.1). Michel Basset
K: static gain is also co-author of a book in the domain of vehicle modelling (published in 2001).
: time constant He regularly participates to IFAC and IEEE conferences: member of the IPC (AAC’01,
T: time delay PSIP’07), chairman of sessions (IFAC World congress, AAC, CIFA, SAFEPROCESS, etc.).

: wheel camber angle measurement accuracy He is an active reviewer of papers and articles (CEP, VSD, JESA, etc.). In his carrier,
: wheel camber angle measurement precision Michel Basset has communicated more than 100 papers/articles and is the co-author

RL : tyre loaded radius measurement accuracy of 7 patents; one is international (Europe, USA, Japan).