A laser sensor has been developed which can measure, at high bandwidth, the distance between itself and some target. This sensor is proposed to be mounted at a fixed orientation to a vehicle equipped with automatic steering capability. It is assumed that the only available feedback variable is the distance from the sensor to a roadside target. Our objective was to design a controller for trajectory tracking and to determine the best orientation angle of the sensor.
Analytical and simulation results indicate that a high quality of control with small trajectory error and acceptable lateral acceleration can be achieved with a sensor orientation between 20° and 45° with respect to the longitudinal vehicle axis.