Intelligent Transport System and Platooning

Two autonomous vehicles equipped by our lab

Local control approach to linear platoons is a systems of vehicles that move together adopting a train configuration without any material coupling. Linear platoon technology is considered as a potential base for the definition of new urban transportation services.

The main problems related to platoon systems is the geometry control: control of inter-vehicle distance and common trajectory matching. The geometry control problem is generally treated according to one of two approaches: global or local.

We proposed a local approach which does not require sophisticated sensors and/or costly road equipment. The objective of this local control approach allows satisfactory distance regulation and matching to any common trajectory, by using local perception capabilities of platoon's vehicles.

The basic perception capability consists in measuring the vectorial distance between a given vehicle and its predecessor. The behavior of each platoon vehicle is determined by a physics-inspired interaction model based on a virtual spring-damper.

Platoon control requires compliance with safety properties. We put the emphasis on compositional verification aspects, as a method to verify the validity of those safety properties. The verification method is iterative and bases on a compositional verification rule that applies to distributed reactive systems.

We also address the issue of the validation of multi-agent system using simulation and experimentation: we have contributed to the development of a simulator of driving in convoy and autonomous navigation. The simulator takes into account vehicle's physical characteristics and is coupled to a 3D visualization tool name VIVUS. We also tested our models on real vehicles such SETCAR based on GEM Car.

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