Design and experimental implementation of longitudinal control for a platoon of automated vehicles

R. Rajamani, S. B. Choi, B. K. Law, J. K. Hedrick, R. Prohaska, P. Kretz

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86 Scopus citations


This paper presents the design and experimental implementation of a longitudinal control system for the operation of automated vehicles in platoons. The control system on each vehicle is designed to have a hierarchical structure and consists of an upper level controller and a lower level controller. The upper controller determines the desired acceleration for each vehicle in the platoon so as to maintain safe string-stable operation even at very small intervehicle spacing. The lower controller utilizes vehicle-specific parameters and determines the throttle and/or brake commands required to track the desired acceleration. A special challenge handled in the design of the lower level controller is low-speed operation that involves gear changes and torque converter dynamics. The paper also presents the design of longitudinal intra-platoon maneuvers that are required in order to allow any car in the platoon to make an exit. The paper presents extensive experimental results from the public NAHSC demonstration of automated highways conducted in August 1997 at San Diego, California. The demonstration included an eight-car platoon operating continuously over several weeks with passenger rides given to over a thousand visitors. The maneuvers demonstrated included starting the automated vehicles from complete rest, accelerating to cruising speed, allowing any vehicle to exit from the platoon, allowing new vehicles to join the platoon and bringing the platoon to a complete stop at the end of the highway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)470-476
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement and Control, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2000


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