Driver-Vehicle Dynamics

David Cole is a Reader in Mechanical Engineering at Cambridge University Engineering Department. He leads the Driver-Vehicle Dynamics (DVD) research group, investigating the dynamic interaction of drivers and vehicles.

The understanding of driver-vehicle dynamic interaction has been very limited in the past. This has prevented vehicle manufacturers from designing chassis and steering control systems that optimize the closed-loop driver-vehicle behaviour. Reliance has had to be placed on costly and non-optimal trial and error methods late in the vehicle development programme. Chassis technology has now advanced to the stage where better theoretical understanding of the driver is vital to ensure that the full benefits of the technology are realized.

The DVD Group's objectives are to:

  • measure, understand and model mathematically the control behaviour of the driver;
  • design vehicle chassis and control systems that optimize the closed-loop driver-vehicle behaviour;
  • support industry through the provision of services and the transfer of knowledge and personnel;
  • provide opportunities for research training.

Dr Cole is supported by an able and enthusiastic team of researchers, of which many go on to pursue careers in the automotive industry. Applications to join the team from well-qualified candidates are welcomed. Undergraduates at CUED are also able to participate in the research programme through MEng projects. Several of these undergraduates have continued working in the group as postgraduate PhD researchers. There is close collaboration with industry, and enquiries from potential collaborators are invited. The Group also works closely with other academic staff in the Engineering Department.


Past and present members of the Driver-Vehicle Dynamics Research Group attending the Vehicle Dynamics and Control seminar in 2017.