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Longitudinal and Lateral Control for Trucks in a “Tow-Bar” System

Nowadays, we are witnessing to an ever increasing number of roadway vehicles, that inevitably is accompanied with a present number of challenges, such as chronic congestion and accidents. The efforts to seek for a new generation of transport systems, should effectively address real problems as future driver assistance systems in highway traffic situations. This talk will take you through the Fiat Research Centre experience with the automation of heavy vehicle traffic on motorways. It is dealt with a control system development, aimed to provide an electronic link between two heavy vehicles; the first truck is driven conventionally by a driver, and the second one follows driverless the leading vehicle, automatically. This approach, known as the “Tow-Bar” function, has been successfully applied in two demonstrative IVECO trucks, within the European PROMOTE-CHAUFFEUR Project. The full automatic drive of the towed vehicle means two essential tasks: Longitudinal control, in order to maintain a small spacing distance between two vehicles by acting to the power management through the brake and engine control. Vehicle lateral control that guarantees the lateral pursuit of the leading vehicle trajectory, using the only lateral position information, the so-called “tow-angle” which is defined as the angular difference position between two trucks. A video camera sensor, provides information with regard to the relative co-ordinates between trucks. A radio communication system ensures the information exchanged between the two vehicles. No more special sensors have been supplied w.r.t a normal production vehicle. Exhaustive field tests with two demonstrative trucks evidenced the robustness of the controlled system with respect to uncertainties (truck parameter variation, sensor errors and actuators imperfections) in different environmental conditions. This approach may result in the future a promising way for traffic scenario optimization.

Type of Seminar:
Public Seminar
Ing. Pandeli Borodani PhD
Centro Ricerche Fiat, Sistemi Elettronici - Controlli Automatici Orbassano (TO) - Italy
Mar 16, 2001   15:15

ETH Zentrum, ETZ E9, Gloriastrasse 35, 8006 Zurich
Contact Person:

Dr. A. Bemporad
No downloadable files available.
Biographical Sketch:
Pandeli Borodani received Laurea degree and Ph.D. in Electronics (Automatic Controls profile) from Politecnico di Torino (Italy), respectively in 1985 and 1989. Joined Fiat Research Centre - Automatic Control Dept. at 1991 and since 1995 has held various research positions. Presently is the technical coordinator of the Automatic Control Dept. Its main activity is related to the powertrain and driver assisting control systems. In these last years has participated on the most important research projects developed in CRF in thematic ranging from the engine controls, new electronic transmission (robotized gearbox systems), climate control systems, up to new telemetric systems (ACC, platooning, etc). Co-author of three patents and about 25 scientific and technical papers regarding the control theory and applications; in 1998 was awarded the “Oscar Masi” premium of Italian National Research Council for the best Italian Industrial Invention for the year 1997. His interests are in identification of dynamic models and robust control synthesis & analysis techniques, applied in automotive field.