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77131

A hybrid controller for autonomous vehicles driving on automated highways.
I E124070 /91 / ITRD E124070
Girault, A.
Transportation Research, Part C. 2004 /12. 12(6) Pp421-52 (35 Refs.)

Samenvatting This paper addresses the problem of the hybrid control of autonomous vehicles driving on automated highways. Vehicles are autonomous, so they do not communicate with each other nor with the infrastructure. Two problems have to be dealt with: a vehicle driving in a single-lane highway must never collide with its leading vehicle; and a vehicle entering the highway at a designated entry junction must be able to merge from the merging lane to the main lane, again without any collision. To solve these problems, we equip each vehicle with a hybrid controller, consisting of several continuous control laws embedded inside a finite state automaton. The automaton specifies when a given vehicle must enter the highway, merge into the main lane, yield to other vehicles, exit from the highway, and so on. The continuous control laws specify what acceleration the vehicle must have in order to avoid collisions with nearby vehicles. By carefully designing these control laws and the conditions guarding the automaton transitions, we are able to demonstrate three important results. First, we state the initial conditions guaranteeing that a following vehicle never collides with its leading vehicle. Second, we extend this first result to a lane of autonomous vehicles. Third, we prove that if all the vehicles are equipped with our hybrid controller, then no collision can ever occur, and all vehicles either merge successfully or are forced to drop out when they reach the end of their merging lane. Finally, we show the outcome of a highway microsimulation modelled after the Katy Corridor near Houston, Texas: our single-lane highway can accommodate 4000 vehicles per hour with neither drop-outs nor traffic congestion. It is entirely programmed in SHIFT, a hybrid systems simulation language developed at UC Berkeley by the PATH group. This shows that SHIFT is a well suited language for designing safe control laws for autonomous highway systems, among others. (A) "Reprinted with permission from Elsevier".
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