Dual-Mode Truck: Automated and Manual Operation 931837
A KENWORTH T800 CONVENTIONAL TRUCK WAS MODIFIED SLIGHTLY TO ALLOW IT TO TRAVEL ONE OF THE PACCAR TECHNICAL CENTER'S DURABILITY TRACK EVENTS WITHOUT DRIVER ASSISTANCE. The Kenworth T800 operates normally, except on the durability test track, where the vehicle can be switched to automated control. Even on an automated event, the speed and steering are controlled either electronically or manually. This has direct implications for IVHS activities in that an actual vehicle was automated on a test track: an operational test for AVCS. The return on investment for this project will be realized by minimizing discomfort to the driver and increasing the repeatability of the tests.
In operation, the driver of the enhanced vehicle needs only to press the resume or set switches on the cruise control to engage the speed and steering control functions. The speed controller sets the speed to the pre-programmed speed for an event (i.e., broken concrete) using the cruise control feature on the electronic engine. The steering controller obtains its information from a radar sensor and controls the wheels so that a roadside guide rail is a certain distance from the vehicle throughout the event.
The dual-mode vehicle approach taken here has the advantages of both worlds: it can operate as a conventional vehicle on roads where the infrastructure has not been built, and it can be operated automatically on roads or tracks where the infrastructure has been installed. This concept is not new; the Ohio State University Transportation Control Laboratory and the General Motors Corporations were working on such a concept in the 60s and 70s. It is most likely that such a vehicle will allow the implementation of AVCS technologies in an evolutionary fashion, where components of the system can be phased in gradually for general public acceptance.
An overview of the system, some issues (lateral and longitudinal control) that were addressed that could help IVHS activities, and the benefits that are being realized are discussed in this paper.