Adaptive Nonlinear Model Predictive Cruise Controller: Trailer Tow Use Case
Conventional cruise control systems in automotive applications are usually designed to maintain the constant speed of the vehicle based on the desired set-point. It has been shown that fuel economy while in cruise control can be improved using advanced control methods namely adopting the Model Predictive Control (MPC) technology utilizing the road grade preview information and allowance of the vehicle speed variation. This paper is focused on the extension of the Adaptive Nonlinear Model Predictive Controller (ANLMPC) reported earlier by application to the trailer tow use-case. As the connected trailer changes the aerodynamic drag and the overall vehicle mass, it may lead to the undesired downshifts for the conventional cruise controller introducing the fuel economy losses. In this work, the ANLMPC concept is extended to avoid downshifts by translating the downshift conditions to the constraints of the underlying optimization problem to be solved.