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Technical Paper

Robust Path Tracking Control for Autonomous Heavy Vehicles

With high maneuverability and heavy-duty load capacity, articulated steer vehicles (ASV) are widely used in construction, forestry and mining sectors. However, the steering process of ASV is much different from wheeled steer vehicles and tractor-trailer vehicles. Unsuitable steering control in path following could easily give rise to the “snaking” behaviour, which greatly reduces the safety and stability of ASV. In order to achieve precise control for ASV, a novel path tracking control method is proposed by virtual terrain field (VTF) method. A virtual U-shaped terrain field is assumed to exist along the reference path. The virtual terrain altitude depends on the lateral error, heading error, preview distance and road curvature. If the vehicle deviates from the reference line, it will be pulled back to the lowest position under the influence of additional lateral tire forces which are caused by the virtual banked road.