Control of Vehicular Platoons using Nearest Neighbor Interactions 2015-01-0299
Control of vehicular platoons has been a problem of interest in the controls domain for the past 40 years. This problem gained a lot of popularity when the California PATH (Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology) program was operational. String stability is an important design criterion in this problem and it has been shown that lead vehicle information is essential to achieve it. This work builds upon the existing framework and presents a controller form for each follower in the string where the lead vehicle information is used explicitly to analytically demonstrate string stability. The discussion is focused on using information from immediate neighbors to achieve string stability. Recent developments in distributed control are an attractive framework for control design where each agent has access to states of the neighbors and not all agents in the network. In this work, the aim is to design sparse H2 controllers and then perform a check on string stability. It is of interest to study the sparsity pattern of the feedback matrix and identify important information links for close loop stability. It is shown by simulation results that the solution of the optimization problem retains the leader information in the controller of each vehicle which is in agreement with the analytical approach. This method of promoting sparsity helps to identify key states for designing distributed controllers.