An Artificial Potential Field Approach to Simulate Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Controlled Vehicles

D. Jordan McCrone, Ehsan Arasteh, and Fahad M. Jan

This paper presents artificial potential field functions to assist adaptive cruise control and cooperative adaptive cruise control vehicles in a multi-lane highway in two dimensions. The artificial field functions consist of three potential fields: road potential, car potential, and velocity potential. The artificial potential field is constructed in a way to assist the vehicles in lane-keeping, speed preference, platoon forming, and obstacle avoidance.  The artificial roadway barriers are constructed to keep the car on the highway, and lane boundaries are constructed so that vehicles can overcome the boundary in case lane changing is needed. Also, the shape of the velocity potential is to allow vehicles to either slow down or speed up depending on the surroundings. Static and dynamic obstacles detected by vehicle sensors are superimposed onto these potential fields. Hierarchical control schemes are introduced on top of these inherently reactive potential fields, resulting in stable platoons with short following times. A MATLAB code was generated to show that under our simulated parameters a platoon of vehicles demonstrates good throughput and traffic safety.

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