Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (PhD)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Advisor 1

Jeffrey D Naber

Committee Member 1

Bo Chen

Committee Member 2

Jeremy Worm

Committee Member 3

Stephen A. Hackney


The demand for safety and fuel efficiency on ground vehicles and advancement in embedded systems created the opportunity to develop Autonomous controller. The present thesis work is three fold and it encompasses all elements that are required to prototype the autonomous intelligent system including simulation, state handling and real time implementation. The Autonomous vehicle operation is mainly dependent upon accurate state estimation and thus a major concern of implementing the autonomous navigation is obtaining robust and accurate data from sensors. This is especially true, in case of Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) sensor data. The IMU consists of a 3-axis gyro, 3-axis accelerometer, and 3-axis magnetometer. The IMU provides vehicle orientation in 3D space in terms of yaw, roll and pitch. Out of which, yaw is a major parameter to control the ground vehicle’s lateral position during navigation. The accelerometer is responsible for attitude (roll-pitch) estimates and magnetometer is responsible for yaw estimates. However, the magnetometer is prone to environmental magnetic disturbances which induce errors in the measurement. The initial work focuses on alleviating magnetic disturbances for ground vehicles by fusing the vehicle kinematics information with IMU senor in an Extended Kalman filter (EKF) with the vehicle orientation represented using Quaternions. The previous studies covers the handling of sensor noise data for vehicle yaw estimations and the same approach can be applied for additional sensors used in the work. However, it is important to develop simulations to analyze the autonomous navigation for various road, obstacles and grade conditions. These simulations serve base platform for real time implementation and provide the opportunity to implement it on real road vehicular application and leads to prototype the controller. Therefore, the next section deals with simulations that focuses on developing Non-linear Model Predictive controller for high speed off-road autonomous vehicle, which avoids undesirable conditions including stationary obstacles, moving obstacles and steep regions while maintaining the vehicle safety from rollover. The NMPC controller is developed using CasADi tools in MATLAB environment. As mentioned, the above two sections provide base platform for real time implementation and the final section uses these techniques for developing intelligent autonomous vehicular system that would track the given path and avoid static obstacles by rejecting the considerable environmental disturbance in the given path. The Linear Quadratic Gaussian (LQG) is developed for the present application, The model developed in the LQG controller is a kinematic bicycle model, that mimics 1/5th scale truck and cubic spline has been used to connect and generate the continuous target path.

bumps_mvObs_Ba5_type1_path_1.avi (18203 kB)
Moving obstacle avoidance video

LQG_tracking_video.mp4 (105392 kB)
Path tracking video using LQG controller