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Planning autonomous vehicles in the absence of speed lanes using lateral potentials

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2 Author(s)
Kala, R. ; Sch. of Syst. Eng., Univ. of Reading, Reading, UK ; Warwick, K.

Chaotic traffic, prevalent in many countries, is marked by a large number of vehicles driving with different speeds without following any predefined speed lanes. Such traffic rules out using any planning algorithm for these vehicles which is based upon the maintenance of speed lanes and lane changes. The absence of speed lanes may imply more bandwidth and easier overtaking in cases where vehicles vary considerably in both their size and speed. Inspired by the performance of artificial potential fields in the planning of mobile robots, we propose here lateral potentials as measures to enable vehicles to decide about their lateral positions on the road. Each vehicle is subjected to a potential from obstacles and vehicles in front, road boundaries, obstacles and vehicles to the side and higher speed vehicles to the rear. All these potentials are lateral and only govern steering the vehicle. A speed control mechanism is also used for longitudinal control of vehicle. The proposed system is shown to perform well for obstacle avoidance, vehicle following and overtaking behaviors.

Published in:

Intelligent Vehicles Symposium (IV), 2012 IEEE

Date of Conference:

3-7 June 2012