Vehicle-Dynamics-Conscious Real-Time Hazard Avoidance in Autonomous Ground Vehicles

Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Stein, University of Michigan, stein@umich.edu
Faculty Tulga Ersal, University of Michigan, tersal@umich.edu
Student: Jiechao Liu, University of Michigan
Government: Paramsothy Jayakumar, Gregory R. Hudas, U.S. Army TARDEC
James Overholt, AFRL
Industry: Mitchell Rohde, Steve M. Rohde, Quantum Signal LLC

Vehicle path planningUnmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) are gaining importance and finding increased utility in both military and commercial applications. They hold a great potential for increasing mission performance, combat effectiveness, and personnel safety. UGVs span a large spectrum in terms of both platform size and mode of operation. In terms of platform size, a UGV can be a vehicle from a small ground robot to a heavy, high speed vehicle; whereas the mode of operation can range from teleoperation to full autonomy.

This scope of this work is large, fully autonomous UGVs. Within this scope, the specific problem that the work aims to address is ensuring dynamic safety during hazard avoidance maneuvers. With dynamic safety we refer to not only preventing the vehicle from running into obstacles, but also ensuring that the maneuver does not induce any stability or handling issues such as excessive side slip, tire lift off, or rollover.

Existing hazard avoidance algorithms developed for small robots do not deliver the desired performance in larger UGVs. The overarching objective of this project is to incorporate high-fidelity vehicle models into real-time hazard avoidance for large autonomous vehicle to generate dynamically safe obstacle avoidance maneuvers while minimizing the impact on travel time.

Publications:

  • Jiechao Liu, Paramsothy Jayakumar, Jeffrey L. Stein, Tulga Ersal. "A Multi-Phase Optimal Control Based Algorithm for Obstacle Avoidance in Autonomous Ground Vehicles within Unknown and Unstructured Environments", submitted to IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems (Under review)
  • Jiechao Liu, Paramsothy Jayakumar, Jeffrey L. Stein, Tulga Ersal. "A Study on Model Fidelity for Model Predictive Control Based Obstacle Avoidance in High Speed Autonomous Ground Vehicles", submitted to Vehicle System Dynamics (Under review)
  • Jiechao Liu, Paramsothy Jayakumar, Jeffrey L. Stein, Tulga Ersal. "An MPC Algorithm with Combined Speed and Steering Control for Obstacle Avoidance in Autonomous Ground Vehicles", in Proceedings of ASME Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, Paper No. DSCC2015-9747, 2015. doi:10.1115/DSCC2015-9747
  • Jiechao Liu, Paramsothy Jayakumar, Jeffrey L. Stein, Tulga Ersal. "A Multi-Stage Optimization Formulation for MPC-Based Obstacle Avoidance in Autonomous Vehicles Using a LIDAR Sensor", in Proceedings of ASME Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, Paper No. DSCC2014-6269, 2014. doi:10.1115/DSCC2014-6269
  • Jiechao Liu, Paramsothy Jayakumar, James L. Overholt, Jeffrey L. Stein, Tulga Ersal. "The role of model fidelity in model predictive control based hazard avoidance in unmanned ground vehicles using LIDAR sensors". In Proceedings of Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, paper DSCC2013-4021, 2013. doi:10.1115/DSCC2013-4021