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Real-Time Trajectory Planning for On-road Autonomous Tractor-Trailer Vehicles


Tractor-trailer vehicles, which are composed of a car-like tractor towing a passive trailer, have been widely deployed in the transportation industry, and trajectory planning is a critical step in enabling such a system to drive autonomously. Owing to the properties of being highly nonlinear and nonholonomic with complex dynamics, the tractor-trailer system poses great challenges to the development of motion-planning algorithms. In this study, an indirect trajectory planning framework for a tractor-trailer vehicle under on-road driving is presented to deal with the problem that the traditional planning framework cannot consider the feasibility and quality simultaneously in real-time trajectory generation of the tractor-trailer vehicle. The indirect planning framework can easily handle complicated tractor-trailer dynamics and generate high-quality, obstacle-free trajectory using quintic polynomial spline, speed profile optimization, forward simulation, and properly designed cost functions. Simulations under different driving scenarios and trajectories with different driving requirements are conducted to validate the performance of the proposed framework.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Chunxiang Wang.

Additional information

Foundation item

the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 61873165/U1764264), and the Shanghai Automotive Industry Science and Technology Development Foundation (No. 1807)

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Shen, Q., Wang, B. & Wang, C. Real-Time Trajectory Planning for On-road Autonomous Tractor-Trailer Vehicles. J. Shanghai Jiaotong Univ. (Sci.) 26, 722–730 (2021).

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Key words

  • trajectory planning
  • tractor-trailer vehicle
  • forward simulation
  • on-road driving

CLC number

  • TP 242

Document code

  • A