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This work presents an approach to linear platoon control. Linear platoons are sets of vehicles which move while keeping a train configuration, without any mechanical coupling. Our proposal is intended for small urban vehicles, and could be the technological frame to define new urban transportation services as an alternative to individual cars, thereby contributing to the alleviation of heavy traffic conditions in downtown environments, with considerable gain in fuel consumption and better quality of air. The linear platoon control problem consists in defining the algorithms to be executed by each vehicle's embedded control, in order to maintain a correct train configuration during displacements. This involves controlling inter vehicle distance while minimizing the lateral error or, in other terms, making all vehicles to follow the same trajectory. The approach presented here bases on a virtual vehicle-to-vehicle interaction model inspired from physics. The proposed algorithms are evaluated through measurements performed on a vehicle simulation environment, capable to integrate detailed vehicle and terrain characteristics.
Date of Conference: 6-8 July 2011