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Systems of Systems & Integration

Annual Plan

Probability of Mobility for Mission Planning of Autonomous Ground Vehicles at “High Stress” Environments

Project Team

Principal Investigator

Zissimos Mourelatos, Oakland University Zhen Hu, University of Michigan, Dearborn


Paramsothy Jayakumar, Monica Majcher, U.S. Army GVSC


Yan Fu, Ford Motor Company


Dimitrios Papadimitriou (post-doc), Oakland University

Project Summary

Project began 2019.

Developing a Next Generation NATO Reference Mobility Model (NG-NRMM) is critical to vehicle mobility performance prediction and mission planning. The objective of this research is to develop a systematic framework for mission planning of Autonomous Ground Vehicles (AGVs) at “high stress” environments considering heterogeneous uncertainty sources. The “high stress” term refers to rough off-road terrain (e.g. abrupt changes in elevation), severe soil conditions, and/or extreme operating conditions (e.g. high speed).

It is still very challenging to accurately predict the mobility at “high stress” environments for the following reasons:

  1. The physics of vehicle mobility is too complicated to be fully understood and quantified at “high stress” environments.
  2. There is large uncertainty in the mobility prediction of physics-based simulation models due to modeling simplifications and assumptions, challenging terrain conditions, limited knowledge on the interactions between vehicle and terrain, and heterogeneous uncertainty sources in vehicle systems and terrain properties.
  3. Replacing the physics-based simulation model with a Kriging surrogate model (i.e. Kriging-based stochastic mobility map) will not eliminate/reduce the aforementioned uncertainty sources.

The objectives of this research are to account for heterogeneous uncertainty sources to improve the prediction confidence in developing a NG-NRMM, and to develop a mission planning approach for operation in “high stress” environments. The objectives will be achieved by integrating physics-based simulations, soil and topographic maps, and lab/field tests.


  1. McCullough, M., Jayakumar, P., Dasch, J., and Gorsich, D., 2017, “The Next Generation NATO Reference mobility model development,” Journal of Terramechanics, 73, pp. 49-60.
  2. Recuero, A., Serban, R., Peterson, B., Sugiyama, H., Jayakumar, P., and Negrut, D., 2017, “A high-fidelity approach for vehicle mobility simulation: Nonlinear finite element tires operating on granular material,” Journal of Terramechanics, 72, pp. 39-54.
  3. Serban, R., Olsen, N., Negrut, D., Recuero, A., and Jayakumar, P., “A co-simulation framework for high-performance, high-fidelity simulation of ground vehicle-terrain interaction,” Proc. Conference: NATO AVT-265 Specialists’ Meeting, Vilnius, Lithuania (May 2017), Paper Number STO-MP-AVT-265.
  4. Choi, K., Gaul, N., Jayakumar, P., Wasfy, T., and Funk, M., “Framework of Reliability-Based Stochastic Mobility Map for Next Generation NATO Reference Mobiity Model,” Journal of Computational and Nonlinear Dynamics, doi:10.1115/1.4041350.