Research Papers

Path-Following Steering Control for Articulated Vehicles

[+] Author and Article Information
D. Cebon

e-mail: dc@eng.cam.ac.uk
University Engineering Department,
Trumpington Street,
Cambridge, CB2 1PZ, UK

References cited in Table 2 are [32,34,34].

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Dynamic Systems Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control. Manuscript received August 14, 2008; final manuscript received August 27, 2012; published online March 28, 2013. Editor: J. Karl Hedrick.

J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control 135(3), 031006 (Mar 28, 2013) (15 pages) Paper No: DS-08-1245; doi: 10.1115/1.4023396 History: Received August 14, 2008; Revised August 27, 2012

Passive steering systems have been used for some years to control the steering of trailer axles on articulated vehicles. These normally use a “command steer” control strategy, which is designed to work well in steady-state circles at low speeds, but which generates inappropriate steer angles during transient low-speed maneuvers and at high speeds. In this paper, “active” steering control strategies are developed for articulated heavy goods vehicles. These aim to achieve accurate path following for tractor and trailer, for all paths and all normal vehicle speeds, in the presence of external disturbances. Controllers are designed to implement the path-following strategies at low and high speeds, whilst taking into account the complexities and practicalities of articulated vehicles. At low speeds, the articulation and steer angles on articulated heavy goods vehicles are large and small-angle approximations are not appropriate. Hence, nonlinear controllers based on kinematics are required. But at high-speeds, the dynamic stability of control system is compromised if the kinematics-based controllers remain active. This is because a key state of the system, the side-slip characteristics of the trailer, exhibits a sign-change with increasing speeds. The low and high speed controllers are blended together using a speed-dependent gain, in the intermediate speed range. Simulations are conducted to compare the performance of the new steering controllers with conventional vehicles (with unsteered drive and trailer axles) and with vehicles with command steer controllers on their trailer axles. The simulations show that active steering has the potential to improve significantly the directional performance of articulated vehicles for a wide range of conditions, throughout the speed range.

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Fig. 1

CT–AT path following strategy

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Fig. 2

CT–AT bicycle model

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Fig. 3

Block diagram of the CT–AT controller

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Fig. 5

Pendulum model versus Trucksim transfer functions; (a) 10 km/h, (b) 60 km/h, and (c) 100 km/h

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Fig. 6

Open-loop bode plot (88 km/h)

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Fig. 7

Block diagram of the combined controller

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Fig. 8

AT–AT path following strategy

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Fig. 9

Roundabout maneuver showing swept path width and tail swing (all distances in m)

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Fig. 10

Off-tracking of the rear trailer for a roundabout maneuver

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Fig. 11

Lateral tire forces for a roundabout maneuver

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Fig. 12

Steady-state off-tracking of the rear of the trailer as a function of speed, for a constant turning radius of 100 m

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Fig. 13

Lane change paths for the four vehicles (all distances in m)

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Fig. 14

Constant-velocity tractor handling diagram

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Fig. 15

Vehicle paths when subject to a crosswind (all distances in m)



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