This work develops a virtual rider that can be used to make a multi-body two-wheeled vehicle follow a specified ground path with a prescribed velocity profile. The virtual rider system is based on a simplified motorcycle model, the sliding plane motorcycle, which is composed of a single rigid body with two ground contact points. This reduced order nonlinear system was presented in an earlier work, together with a dynamic inversion procedure for computing a state-control trajectory corresponding to the desired task. This dynamic inversion procedure is combined in this work with a maneuver regulation controller to yield a nonlinear feedback control strategy. A transverse coordinate system that is consistent with the mechanical symmetries of ground vehicles is constructed and used in the development of the maneuver regulation controller. An inverse optimal control strategy, which also exploits the mechanical symmetries, is developed to shape the dynamic response of the closed loop system. Numerical results with the virtual rider driving a multi-body vehicle through a demanding maneuver with lateral accelerations reaching 1 g are presented.
Saccon, A., Hauser, J., & Beghi, A. (2013). A virtual rider for motorcycles : maneuver regulation of a multi-body vehicle model. IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, 21(2), 332-346. https://doi.org/10.1109/TCST.2011.2181170