Fractional Order State Feedback Control for Improved Lateral Stability of Semi-Autonomous Commercial Heavy Vehicles Platoons

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Saudi Digital Library
With the growing development of autonomous and semi-autonomous large commercial heavy vehicles, the lateral stability control of articulated vehicles have caught the attention of researchers recently. Active vehicle front steering (AFS) can enhance the handling performance and stability of articulated vehicles for an emergency highway maneuver scenario. However, with large vehicles such tractor-trailers, the system becomes more complex to control and there is an increased occurrence of instabilities. This research investigates a new control scheme based on fractional calculus as a technique that ensures lateral stability of articulated large heavy vehicles during evasive highway maneuvering scenarios. The control method is first implemented to a passenger vehicle model with 2-axles based on the well-known “bicycle model”. The model is then extended and applied onto larger three-axle commercial heavy vehicles in platooning operations. To validate the proposed new control algorithm, the system is linearized and a fractional order PI state feedback control is developed based on the linearized model. Then using Matlab/Simulink, the developed fractional-order linear controller is implemented onto the non- linear tractor-trailer dynamic model. The tractor-trailer system is modeled based on the conventional integer-order techniques and then a non-integer linear controller is developed to control the system. Overall, results confirm that the proposed controller improves the lateral stability of a tractor-trailer response time by 20% as compared to a professional truck driver during an evasive highway maneuvering scenario. In addition, the effects of variable truck cargo loading and longitudinal speed are evaluated to confirm the robustness of the new control method under a variety of potential operating conditions.