Title: Follow the Past: a path-tracking algorithm for autonomous vehicles

Authors: Thomas Hellstrom, Ola Ringdahl

Addresses: Department of Computing Science, Umea University, S-901 87 Umea, Sweden ' Department of Computing Science, Umea University, S-901 87 Umea, Sweden

Abstract: A number of algorithms for path tracking are described in the robotics literature. Traditional algorithms, like Pure Pursuit and Follow the Carrot, use position information to compute steering commands that make a vehicle follow a pre-defined path approximately. These algorithms are well known to cut corners, since they do not explicitly take into account the actual curvature of the path. In this paper we present a novel algorithm that uses recorded steering commands to overcome this problem. The algorithm is constructed within the behavioural paradigm common in intelligent robotics and is divided into three separate behaviours, each responsible for one aspect of the path-tracking task. The algorithm is implemented both on a simulator for autonomous forest machines and a physical small-scale robot. The results are compared with the Pure Pursuit and the Follow the Carrot algorithms and show a significant improvement in performance.

Keywords: behavioural robotics; outdoor navigation; path tracking; vehicle autonomous systems; autonomous vehicles; intelligent robotics; robot navigation; autonomous forest machines; mobile robots.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVAS.2006.012208

International Journal of Vehicle Autonomous Systems, 2006 Vol.4 No.2/3/4, pp.216 - 224

Published online: 28 Jan 2007 *

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