Safe autonomous lane changes in dense traffic
Paper i proceeding, 2017
Lane change manoeuvres are complex driving manoeuvres to automate since the vehicle has to anticipate and adapt to intentions of several surrounding vehicles. Selecting a suitable gap to move/merge into the adjacent lane and performing the lane change can be challenging, especially in dense traffic. Existing gap selection methods tend to be either cautious or opportunistic, both of which directly affect the overall availability and safety of the autonomous feature. In this paper we present a method which enables the autonomous vehicles to increase the availability of lane change manoeuvres by reducing the required margins to ensure a safe manoeuvre. The required safety margins are first calculated by making use of the steering and braking capability of the vehicle. It is then shown that this method can be used to perform autonomous lane changes in dense traffic situations with small inter-vehicle gaps. The proposed solution is evaluated by using Model Predictive Control (MPC) to plan and execute the complete motion trajectory.