Nonlinear Model Predictive Control of Autonomous Vehicles Considering Dynamic Stability Constraints 2020-01-1400
Autonomous vehicle performance is increasingly highlighted in many highway driving scenarios, which leads to more priorities to vehicle stability as well as tracking accuracy. In this paper, a nonlinear model predictive controller for autonomous vehicle trajectory tracking is designed and verified through a real-time simulation bench of a virtual test track. The dynamic stability constraints of nonlinear model predictive control (NLMPC) are obtained by a novel quadrilateral stability region criterion instead of the conventional phase plane method using the double-line region. First, a typical lane change scene of overtaking is selected and a new composited trajectory model is proposed as a reference path that combines smoothness of sine wave and comfort of linear functional path. Reference lateral velocity, azimuth angle, yaw rate, and front wheel steering angle are subsequently taken into account. Then, by establishing a nonlinear vehicle dynamics model where Magic Formula of nonlinear tire model is adapted, the quadrilateral vehicle stability region is defined in consideration of designed velocity, road adhesion coefficient, and front wheel steering angle. Working condition-variant constraints determined by the boundaries of the quadrilateral region are subsequently obtained to guarantee the stability and vehicle performance. Finally, a nonlinear motion state space model with measured and unmeasured disturbance for NLMPC tracking maneuver is proposed, Meanwhile, a multi-objective cost function based on track error, ride comfort, and the smoothness of control derivative is established. Laguerre functions are applied to design optimal control trajectory and Hildreth’s quadratic programming procedure is introduced to find converged solutions meeting constraints derived from previously investigated quadrilateral stability region for sake of lightening computation load and finding better numerically conditioned solutions of control when NLMPC is implemented online. The configuration of a real-time virtual test track is explained and the NLMPC algorithm is validated. The simulation and experiment results are illustrated to show the effectiveness of the designed nonlinear model predictive control scheme under the test of the overtaking scene compared with the conventional driver control. This work may provide a useful basis for researches of autonomous vehicle lane change in terms of track accuracy, ride comfort as well as stability.