Experimental validation of a semi-distributed sequential quadratic programming method for optimal coordination of automated vehicles at intersections
Journal article, 2020

In this article, we study the optimal coordination of automated vehicles at intersections. The problem can be stated as an optimal control problem (OCP), which can be decomposed as a bi-level scheme composed by one nonlinear program (NLP) which schedules the access to the intersection and one OCP per vehicle which computes the appropriate vehicle commands. We discuss a practical implementation of the bi-level controller where the NLP is solved with a tailored semi-distributed sequential quadratic programming (SQP) algorithm that enables distribution of most computation to the vehicles. Results from an extensive experimental campaign are presented, where the bi-level controller and the semi-distributed SQP are implemented on a test setup consisting of three automated vehicles. In particular, we show that the vehicle-level controller can enforce the scheduled intersection access beyond the accuracy admitted by the sensor system, and that the bi-level controller can handle large perturbations and large communication delays, which makes the scheme applicable in practical scenarios. Finally, the use of wireless communication introduces delays in the outer control loop. To allow faster feedback, we introduce a real-time iteration (RTI) like variation of the bi-level controller. Experimental and simulated results indicate that the RTI-like variation offers comparable performance using less computation and communication.

distributed model predictive control

automated vehicles

distributed nonlinear programming

intersection coordination


Robert Hult

Chalmers, Electrical Engineering, Systems and control

Mario Zanon

IMT School for Advanced Studies

G. Frison

University of Freiburg

Sebastien Gros

Chalmers, Electrical Engineering, Systems and control

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

Paolo Falcone

Chalmers, Electrical Engineering, Systems and control

Optimal Control Applications and Methods

0143-2087 (ISSN) 1099-1514 (eISSN)

Vol. 41 4 1068-1096

Kooperativa körning vid trafikkorsningar

VINNOVA (2015-03075), 2015-10-01 -- 2016-04-30.

Distribuerad koordinering av mobila nätverks system i okända miljöer

Swedish Research Council (VR) (2012-4038), 2013-01-01 -- 2016-01-01.

COPPLAR CampusShuttle cooperative perception & planning platform

VINNOVA (2015-04849), 2016-01-01 -- 2018-12-31.

Subject Categories

Computer Engineering


Control Engineering

Areas of Advance



ReVeRe (Research Vehicle Resource)



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