Georgia Tech Developing Autonomous Vehicle Control for Extreme Conditions

Georgia Tech Developing Autonomous Vehicle Control for Extreme Conditions image
June 27, 2016 | Source: Rick Robinson, Georgia Tech News Center

MPPI strategy helps self-driving, robotic vehicles maintain control at edge of handling limits.

A Georgia Institute of Technology research team has devised a novel way to help keep a driverless vehicle under control as it maneuvers at the edge of its handling limits. The approach could help make self-driving cars of the future safer under hazardous road conditions.

Researchers from Georgia Tech’s Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering (AE) and the School of Interactive Computing (IC) have assessed the new technology by racing, sliding, and jumping one-fifth-scale, fully autonomous auto-rally cars at the equivalent of 90 mph. The technique uses advanced algorithms and onboard computing, in concert with installed sensing devices, to increase vehicular stability while maintaining performance.

The work, tested at the Georgia Tech Autonomous Racing Facility, is sponsored by the U.S. Army Research Office. A paper covering this research was presented at the recent International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), held May 16-21.

“An autonomous vehicle should be able to handle any condition, not just drive on the highway under normal conditions,” said Panagiotis Tsiotras, an AE professor who is an expert on the mathematics behind rally-car racing control. “One of our principal goals is to infuse some of the expert techniques of human drivers into the brains of these autonomous vehicles.”