SAFETRUCK: Sensing and Control to Enhance Vehicle Safety


Lee Alexander, Vassilios Morellas, Sundeep Bajikar, Ted Morris, Heon-Min Lim, Max Donath

December 1997

Report no. Mn/DOT 1998-29

This report summarizes the work performed during the 18-month period ending in December 1997. Researchers investigated the use of differential global positioning systems (GPS), inertial measurement, and other sensing technologies as the basis of a system that would prevent crashes. Such a system attempts to control the vehicle if it leaves the lane because the driver is incapacitated. The report includes in its appendices related work on driver fatigue and a bibliography on the effect of drugs and alcohol on driving behavior. The long-term goal of this research involves development of a "driver-centered" vehicle control system capable of providing lane-keeping feedback to the driver, and, if necessary, of imposing aggressive intervention strategies to take over control of the vehicle, steer it to a safe position on the shoulder, and stop it. This research also targets the development of "driver assistive" technologies--such as Heads Up Display and torque feedback supplied by the steering wheel--which provide information to the driver without necessarily requiring computer control of the vehicle. The highlight achievement during this funding period has been the successful demonstration of a GPS-based automated lane-keeping mode of a tractor-trailer on the Minnesota Road Research Project (Mn/ROAD) test track. The report concludes with a strategy for pursuing future deployment.

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