Summary and Info
This thesis describes the current state of development of the Flexible Low-cost Automated Scaled Highway (FLASH) laboratory at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI). The FLASH lab and the scale model cars contained therein provide a testbed for the small scale development stage of intelligent transportation systems (ITS). In addition, the FLASH lab serves as a home to the prototype display being developed for an educational museum exhibit.This thesis also gives details of the path following lateral controller implemented on the FLASH car. The controller was developed using the kinematic model for a wheeled robot. The global kinematic model was derived using the nonholonomic contraints of the system. This global model is converted into the path coordinate model so that only local variables are needed. Then the path coordinate model is converted into chained form and a controller is given to perform path following.The path coordinate model introduces a new parameter to the system: the curvature of the path. Thus, it is necessary to provide the path's curvature value to the controller. Because of the environment in which the car is operating, the curvature values are known a priori. Several online methods for determining the curvature are developed.
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