Robust longitudinal and lateral control of autonomous vehicles

Background and Objective:
Motion control for autonomous vehicles is concerned with controlling the driving dynamics of the whole vehicle combination. It has the task to control all the available actuators in a vehicle to safely and efficiently follow the intended path along the road. One of the major challenges is ensuring and communicating a predictable behavior which other parts of the system can rely on.
Scope and Method:
For achieving safe and predictable longitudinal and lateral control, first, classical approaches in robust control shall be investigated. As the controllers are supposed to be usable in arguing for safety, striving for simplicity in the design of the controllers is of high importance. Being able to use the same control approaches and methods for their analysis for both longitudinal and lateral control would be a major upside of identified approaches. One major object for investigation is how to handle changing properties of the vehicle, i.e. due to changing environmental conditions or vehicle speed.
As the control task is concerned with heavy vehicle combinations, the impact of control of the first unit on the second or third unit of a combination shall be investigated. Methods for analyzing the stability of the whole combination shall be derived and developed. Based on a thorough literature review, possible control approaches shall be identified. Following their implementation and formal analysis of their robustness and stability given realistic external disturbances and noise as encountered in real driving situations, the behavior shall be verified both in simulation and in a test vehicle.
The duration of the study will be 20 weeks (30 ETCs, MSc thesis). The thesis can also be completed in a team of two – please still send in individual applications in this case. The work will be carried out at Volvo Group. The outcome has potential to be published in a scientific journal or conference (depending on quality and ambitions). Suitable background is vehicle dynamics, control theory and signal processing. Knowledge of Matlab/Simulink would be beneficial.
Language: English
Starting date: January 2020
Number of students: 1-2
Tutor: Thorsten Helfrich, 076 5538 152

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The Volvo Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine and industrial engines under the leading brands Volvo, Renault Trucks, Mack, UD Trucks, Eicher, SDLG, Terex Trucks, Prevost, Nova Bus, UD Bus and Volvo Penta.

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