Sensing and Control to Enhance the Safety of Large Vehicles: GPS

Principal Investigator(s):

Max Donath, Professor, Mechanical Engineering


  • Craig Shankwitz, Fmr Director, Intelligent Veh. Lab, Mechanical Engineering

Project summary:

We propose to extend the work performed under MNDOT Agreement Nos. 70210 and 71783. Research performed under Agreement No 70210 consisted of an investigation into emerging sensing and control technologies applicable to the driver assistance and vehicle control problems. The results of this work led to the decision to build a semi tractor-trailer experimental testbed with which these emerging technologies may be tested and evaluated. Work performed under Agreement No 71783 included the acquisition of a tractor (Navistar 9400 series heavy duty tractor equipped with electronically controlled engine, transmission, and anti-lock brakes and traction control), the design of computer, power, communication, and component interface systems, and initial development of these systems. Agreement No. 72444 covers additional hardware that will be installed on the truck. The work to be undertaken for the proposed funding period includes continued development of the experimental testbed, the application of differential GPS (DGPS) for both lateral and longitudinal control on the Mn/Road low volume pavement test track and a preliminary investigation into the sensing and control requirements for implementing collision avoidance strategies on large vehicles. The results of these investigations will have relevance to numerous other Mn/DOT applications. For instance, the dynamic accuracy and repeatability of the DGPS system will have to be documented before it is applied to truck control. If found to have sufficient accuracy, such a system could be used for real-time surveying. Real time surveying would eliminate the expensive and time consuming task of post processing thereby increasing the productivity of survey teams. Our goal is to examine emerging technologies which have applications not only to vehicle control, but to other transportation problems as well.


Project details:

  • Project number: 1994010
  • Start date: 05/1995
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Transportation Safety and Traffic Flow
  • Topics: Intelligent vehicles