Evaluation of the transient response and implementation of a heading-angle controller for an autonomous ground vehicle

In this paper, a dynamic mathematical model of an autonomous ground vehicle was used to analyse its transient response and to design a heading-angle controller for the vehicle. A suitable ‘control-oriented model’ that could accurately characterize the phenomenon of interest was used to design the controller. The efficacy of this model was evaluated by corroborating its results with experimental data. This model included the cornering stiffness of the tyres as an unknown parameter, and two approaches were attempted to estimate its value. The dynamics of the actuator were included in the analysis since the response time to steer the front wheel is of the same order as that of the heading-angle dynamics of the vehicle. The performance of two controllers (namely a classical transfer-function-based controller and an optimal linear quadratic regulator) were evaluated using the IPG: CarMaker® simulation platform over a range of speeds. The transfer-function-based controller was also implemented on the experimental test vehicle at low speeds (high-speed experimental implementation was not possible because of safety concerns). It was found that control gain scheduling helped to track the desired heading angles of the vehicle at various speeds. Subsequently, a lane-change manoeuvre using the test vehicle was performed to evaluate the controller further. It was found that the transfer-function-based heading-angle controller could provide a comparable performance with that of the linear quadratic regulator, while keeping the sensing requirements to a minimum; thus, it was suitable for real-time implementation in an autonomous ground vehicle.


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  • Accession Number: 01602904
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 16 2016 8:54AM