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From Reeds and Shepp's to continuous-curvature paths

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2 Author(s)
Fraichard, T. ; Inria, Saint Ismier, France ; Scheuer, Alexis

This paper presents Continuous Curvature (CC) Steer, a steering method for car-like vehicles, i.e., an algorithm planning paths in the absence of obstacles. CC Steer is the first to compute paths with: 1) continuous curvature; 2) upper-bounded curvature; and 3) upper-bounded curvature derivative. CC Steer also verifies a topological property that ensures that when it is used within a general motion-planning scheme, it yields a complete collision-free path planner. The coupling of CC Steer with a general planning scheme yields a path planner that computes collision-free paths verifying the properties mentioned above. Accordingly, a car-like vehicle can follow such paths without ever having to stop in order to reorient its front wheels. Besides, such paths can be followed with a nominal speed which is proportional to the curvature derivative limit. The paths computed by CC Steer are made up of line segments, circular arcs, and clothoid arcs. They are not optimal in length. However, it is shown that they converge toward the optimal "Reeds and Shepp" paths when the curvature derivative upper bound tends to infinity. The capabilities of CC Steer to serve as an efficient steering method within two general planning schemes are also demonstrated.

Published in:

Robotics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:20 ,  Issue: 6 )