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Adaptive Lateral Model Predictive Control for Autonomous Driving of Heavy-Duty Vehicles

Time: Thu 2023-10-26 10.02

Location: F3 (Flodis), Lindstedtsvägen 26 & 28, Stockholm

Language: English

Subject area: Electrical Engineering

Doctoral student: Goncalo Collares Pereira , Reglerteknik

Opponent: Associate Professor Daniel Axehill, Linköping University, Department of Electrical Engineering, Automatic Control

Supervisor: Professor Jonas Mårtensson, Integrated Transport Research Lab, ITRL, Reglerteknik; Bo Wahlberg, Reglerteknik; Henrik Pettersson, Scania CV AB

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QC 20231003


Autonomous Vehicle (AV) technology promises safer, greener, and more efficient means of transportation for everyone. AVs are expected to have their first big impact in closed environments, such as mining areas, ports, and construction sites, where Heavy-Duty Vehicles (HDVs) operate. This thesis addresses lateral motion control for autonomous HDVs using Model Predictive Control (MPC). Lateral control for HDVs still has many open questions to be addressed, in particular, precise path tracking while ensuring a smooth, comfortable, and stable ride, coping with both external and internal disturbances, and adapting to different vehicles and conditions.

To address these challenges, a comprehensive control module architecture is designed to adapt seamlessly to different vehicle types and interface with various planning and localization modules. Furthermore, it is designed to address system delays, maintain certain error bounds, and respect actuation constraints.

This thesis presents the Reference Aware MPC (RA-MPC) for autonomous vehicles. This controller is iteratively improved throughout the thesis. The RA-MPC introduces a method to systematically handle references generated by motion planners which can consider different algorithms and vehicle models from the controller. The controller uses the linear time-varying MPC framework and considers control input rate and acceleration constraints to account for steering limitations. Furthermore, multiple models and control inputs are considered throughout the thesis. Ultimately, curvature acceleration is used as the control input, which together with stability ingredients, allows for stability guarantees under certain conditions via Lyapunov techniques.

MPC is highly dependent on the prediction model used. This thesis proposes and compares different models. First, an offline-fitted, vehicle-specific nonlinear curvature response function is proposed and integrated into the kinematic bicycle model. The curvature response function is modeled as two Gaussian functions. To enhance the model's versatility and applicability to a fleet of vehicles the nonlinear curvature response table kinematic model is presented. This model replaces the function with a table, which is estimated online by means of Kalman filtering, adapting to the current vehicle and operating conditions.

All controllers and models are simulated and experimentally validated on Scania HDVs and iteratively compared to the previous state-of-the-art. The RA-MPC with the nonlinear curvature response table kinematic model is shown to be the best for the problems and conditions considered. The robustness and adaptiveness of the proposed approach are highlighted by testing different vehicle configurations (a haulage truck, a mining truck, and a bus), operating conditions, and scenarios. The model allows all vehicles to accomplish the scenarios with very similar performance. Overall, the results show an average absolute lateral error to path no bigger than 7 cm, and a worst-case deviation no bigger than 25 cm. These results demonstrate the controller's ability to handle a fleet of HDVs, without the need for vehicle-specific tuning or intervention from expert engineers.