Safety oriented maneuvers for IVHS

Jonathan Frankel, Luis Alvarez, Roberto Horowitz, Perry Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The IVHS architecture of the California PATH program organizes traffic into platoons of closely spaced vehicles. Platoons are formed and broken up by two longitudinal control maneuvers, the merge and the split. A third longitudinal maneuver, decelerate to change lane, allows a platoon switching from one lane to another to enter its new lane at a safe spacing and speed. The maneuvers, particularly the merge, can be potentially hazardous. In a merge, the cars in the trail platoon are moving faster than those in the lead platoon, while the gap separating the two platoons is smaller than usual. A sudden deceleration by the lead platoon could cause a high-speed collision. If the relative velocities of the merging platoons can be constrained so that they are guaranteed never to collide at a high relative velocity, the merge can be considered safe. A maximum safe velocity for the trail platoon can be found for any given spacing and lead-platoon velocity. This paper presents a merge maneuver in which the velocity of the trail platoon never exceeds the maximum safe velocity. The controller switches among several feedback control laws that keep the velocity of the trail platoon inside a safe region and within comfort limits on jerk and acceleration, under normal circumstances. This merge maneuver can be considered to be the fastest merge strategy that does not violate bounds on safety and comfort. The controller is also more robust to changes in the vehicles' acceleration capability than those that use a desired open-loop trajectory. The control approach used for the merge maneuver can be applied to the other maneuvers to ensure that they never result in a collision. The switching controllers for the split and decelerate to change lane maneuvers that are safe and yield a more comfortable ride than those that track a timed trajectory are also presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-299
Number of pages29
JournalVehicle System Dynamics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1996


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