Model Predictive Control for Cooperative Insertion or Exit of a Vehicle in a Platoon

Simone Graffione, Chiara Bersani, Roberto Sacile, Enrico Zero

Abstract

Vehicle platooning has a central role in the road management by self-driving or autonomous vehicles (AVs). The main issues in this context are the agreement of communication and control instructions among vehicles in order to maintain a safe inter vehicular distance and a specific desired speed according to the planned travel. This paper proposes a longitudinal Model Predictive Control (MPC) to carry out vehicles’ safe manoeuvres to let an external vehicle to be inserted in the platoon or alternatively to let a vehicle of the platoon to leave it. The control strategy considers a cooperative approach where the leader coordinates the exchange of information with the followers and with the vehicle which notifies its intent to enter (or to leave) the platoon. All the vehicles are equipped with technologies to monitor their own state in terms of position and speed while the leader receives, elaborates the data and, by the control process, distributes the optimal control decisions to the whole platoon. The proposed control algorithm minimizes the tractive forces and the square deviations of positions and speeds in respect to predefined references. The MPC longitudinal control of the vehicle, based on a non-linear cinematic model, provides the optimal control values related to the torques to be applied to vehicles’ acceleration or deceleration in order to perform safe entering and exiting manoeuvring. The results of the simulations demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach with reduced execution time.

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