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Assessing Fuel Economy From Automated Driving: Influence of Preview and Velocity Constraints

[+] Author Affiliations
Niket Prakash, Gionata Cimini, Anna G. Stefanopoulou

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Matthew J. Brusstar

US Environmental Protection Agency, Ann Arbor, MI

Paper No. DSCC2016-9780, pp. V002T19A001; 8 pages
  • ASME 2016 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference
  • Volume 2: Mechatronics; Mechatronics and Controls in Advanced Manufacturing; Modeling and Control of Automotive Systems and Combustion Engines; Modeling and Validation; Motion and Vibration Control Applications; Multi-Agent and Networked Systems; Path Planning and Motion Control; Robot Manipulators; Sensors and Actuators; Tracking Control Systems; Uncertain Systems and Robustness; Unmanned, Ground and Surface Robotics; Vehicle Dynamic Controls; Vehicle Dynamics and Traffic Control
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, October 12–14, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Dynamic Systems and Control Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5070-1
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


Constrained optimization control techniques with preview are designed in this paper to derive optimal velocity trajectories in longitudinal vehicle following mode, while ensuring that the gap from the lead vehicle is both safe and short enough to prevent cut-ins from other lanes. The lead vehicle associated with the Federal Test Procedures (FTP) [1] is used as an example of the achieved benefits with such controlled velocity trajectories of the following vehicle. Fuel Consumption (FC) is indirectly minimized by minimizing the accelerations and decelerations as the autonomous vehicle follows the hypothetical lead. Implementing the cost function in offline Dynamic Programming (DP) with full drive cycle preview showed up to a 17% increase in Fuel Economy (FE). Real time implementation with Model Predictive Control (MPC) showed improvements in FE, proportional to the prediction horizon. Specifically, 20s preview MPC was able to match the DP results. A minimum of 1.5s preview of the lead vehicle velocity with velocity tracking of the lead was required to obtain an increase in FE.

The optimal velocity trajectory found from these algorithms exceeded the presently allowable error from standard drive cycles for FC testing. However, the trajectory was still safe and acceptable from the perspective of traffic flow. Based on our results, regulators need to consider relaxing the constant velocity error margins around the standard velocity trajectories dictated by the FTP to encourage FE increase in autonomous driving.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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