Cooperative driving a network control perspective

Vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication are promising techniques to improve traffic with respect to road capacity, throughput, safety and fuel consumption without expanding the current infrastructure. This project focusses on developing control algorithms for cooperate driving while dealing with inevitable imperfections of wireless communication.

PhD Candidate: Victor Dolk MSc
Supervisor: Maurice Heemels, Nathan van de Wouw
Promotor: Maurice Heemels
Project Financing: STW project “Integrated design approach for safety-critical real-time automotive systems” (No. 12698)
Project Period: November 2013 – October 2017

The increasing demand for mobility forms a great challenge for current infrastructure. Instead of expanding the infrastructure, which is in general expensive and often comes at the expense of nature and even residential areas, the solution lies in making current infrastructure more efficient by means of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS).

Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC) is a promising ITS technology which makes it possible to decrease the inter-vehicle distance, implying a larger road capacity, while preventing propagation of disturbances along the vehicle string causing so-called ghost traffic jams. The latter phenomenon is also referred to as string instability. Wireless communication makes it possible to decrease the inter-vehicle distance while avoiding string instability and thereby preventing formations of congestion.

However, wireless networks suffer from inevitable imperfections such as packet dropouts, quantization errors, variable sampling time and delays and communication constraints. As consequence, the basic assumptions on which classical control theory relies are no longer valid. For this reason, the aim of this research is to develop systematic control design methodologies for cooperate driving which enhances the reliability of the network control system in the sense that the utilization of the network resources should be minimized while ensuring that all safety criteria are met.