Combined Speed and Steering Control in High-Speed Autonomous Ground Vehicles for Obstacle Avoidance Using Model Predictive Control

Jiechao Liu, Paramsothy Jayakumar, Jeffrey L. Stein, Tulga Ersal
2017 IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology  
This paper presents a model predictive control-based obstacle avoidance algorithm for autonomous ground vehicles at high speed in unstructured environments. The novelty of the algorithm is its capability to control the vehicle to avoid obstacles at high speed taking into account dynamical safety constraints through a simultaneous optimization of reference speed and steering angle without a priori knowledge about the environment and without a reference trajectory to follow. Previous work in this
more » ... evious work in this specific context optimized only the steering command. In this work, obstacles are detected using a planar light detection and ranging sensor. A multi-phase optimal control problem is then formulated to simultaneously optimize the reference speed and steering angle within the detection range. Vehicle acceleration capability as a function of speed, as well as stability and handling concerns such as preventing wheel lift-off are included as constraints in the optimization problem, whereas the cost function is formulated to navigate the vehicle as quickly as possible with smooth control commands. Simulation results show that the proposed algorithm is capable of safely exploiting the dynamic limits of the vehicle while navigating the vehicle through sensed obstacles of different size and number. It is also shown that the proposed variable speed formulation can significantly improve performance by allowing navigation of obstacle fields that would otherwise not be cleared with steering control alone.
doi:10.1109/tvt.2017.2707076 fatcat:qtft27jt5nfgddgpvibjyoe2hq