Distance Control of Heavy-Duty Vehicle Platooning
Abstract: Vehicle platooning is a modern technique which enables us to have a group ofvehicles driving in a cooperative way. More specifically, in vehicle platooning, anumber of vehicles uses a common control system and inter-vehiclecommunications to cooperatively drive close to each other and in a high speed. Themost important consequence of this way of driving is a decrease in aerodynamicsdrags for the follower vehicles which in turn, leads to considerable reduction in fuelconsumption. However, driving at a short inter-vehicle distance in a high speedleads to several big challenges.In this master thesis, we try to address one of the challenges by designing alongitudinal dynamics controller to keep the distances between vehicles. Tosimplify the work, it assumes that the vehicles are moving on a flat road. First, thedesign of P, PD, and linear quadratic tracking (LQT) controller is carried out byconsidering the dynamics, speed, and acceleration of the vehicles as well as theirrelative distances. Next, to assess the effectiveness of the designed controllers,numerical simulations are done. Our numerical simulations demonstrate that theLQT and PD controllers have similar performances and show a similar responsetime to the distance tuning command. Further discussions will be provided tojustify the similar performances between PD and LQT controllers.Finally, to see the sensitivity of the controllers to noise and delay in theestimations, another set of numerical simulations are done. The sensitivity analysisshows that noise and delay in the acceleration estimations have a bigger impact onthe overall performance of the controllers. More importantly, when the noise anddelay in the estimated accelerations pass a certain threshold, the controller becomesinstable implying a sharp requirement on the accuracy and delay in the estimate ofthe acceleration in a platooning system.
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