Steering behaviors for autonomous vehicles in virtual environments

Hongling Wang, Joseph K. Kearney, James Cremer, Peter Willemsen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

33 Scopus citations


This paper presents steering behaviors that control autonomous vehicles populating roadways in virtual urban environments. Behavior programming is facilitated by a set of representations of the environment that use convenient frames of reference in natural coordinate systems. Roadway surfaces are modeled as three-dimensional ribbons that make the local orientation of the road explicit and allow relative distances on the road to be simply computed. Roads and intersections are connected to form a ribbon network. An egocentric representation called a path melds road and intersection segments into a single, continuous ribbon that captures the vehicle's shortterm plan of navigation. A topological structure called a route supports wayfinding. We describe how the interrelated ribbon, path, and route representations are used to build multi-component behaviors that plan routes and safely navigate through traffic filled road networks - tracking lanes, shifting lanes to avoid congestion, anticipating lane changes needed to make turns dictated by the route, negotiating intersections, and respecting the rules of the road.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIEEE Virtual Reality 2005 - Proceedings
EditorsB. Froehlich, S. Julier, H. Takemura
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Dec 12 2005
EventIEEE Virtual Reality 2005 - Bonn, Germany
Duration: Mar 12 2005Mar 16 2005


OtherIEEE Virtual Reality 2005


  • Autonomous agent behavior
  • Steering behavior
  • Virtual environments


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