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Trajectory generation for a four wheel steering tractor-trailer system: a two-step method

Yongji Wang a1 and M. P. Cartmell a2
a1 Department of Computing and Electrical Engineering, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK
a2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Glasgow, James Watt Building, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK


A basic problem in the development of an intelligent vehicle/highway system (IVHS), or an autonomous mobile robot system (AMRS) is to find suitable input controls which can be used to drive the vehicle between any two configurations. In this paper a trajectory generation problem for a four-wheel-steering tractor/semi-trailer system is investigated, and it is shown that this nonholonomic constraint problem can be converted into one of finding fitting-functions satisfying certain necessary boundary conditions. Proposals for control laws are presented and simulation results for a lane change manoeuvre are given.

(Received October 4 1997)

Key Words: Robotics; Vehicles; Trajectory generation; Nonholonomic motion planning; Automatic control; Four wheeled steering; Tractor/trailer.