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Minnesota Department of Transportation
This report describes results from a series of experiments using the virtual bumper collision avoidance algorithm implemented on a Navistar tractor cab. The virtual bumper combines longitudinal and lateral collision avoidance capabilities to control a vehicle in normal and emergency situations. A programmable boundary, the virtual bumper, defines a personal space around the host vehicle. Researchers used a radar and a laser range sensor to sense the location of vehicles in front of the truck. Target vehicles that enter the truck's personal space impose a virtual "force" on the host, which in turn modifies the vehicle's trajectory to avoid collisions with objects in the field of view. Researchers tested the virtual bumper longitudinal controller under different driving situations and at different speeds. The experiments included several scenarios: Adaptive Cruise Control, the truck performing a critical stop for a stationary target vehicle, and situations that simulate stop-and-go traffic. Results from the virtual bumper longitudinal experiments were favorable. The algorithm demonstrated robustness to sensor noise and the ability to maintain a safe headway for both normal and emergency driving scenarios. Researchers currently are improving the sensing technology and incorporating a road database, which contains roadside features to greatly reduce, if not eliminate, false target detection.
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