Hybrid control of a truck and trailer vehicle

C. Altafini, A. Speranzon and K. H. Johansson

Hybrid Systems V: Computation and Control. LNCS, Springer-Verlag, 2002.

A hybrid control scheme is proposed for the stabilization of backward driving along simple paths for a miniature vehicle composed of a truck and a two-axle trailer. When reversing, the truck and trailer can be modelled as an unstable nonlinear system with state and input saturations. Due to these constraints, it is impossible to globally stabilize the system with standard smooth control techniques, since some initial states necessarily lead to that the so called jack-knife locks between the truck and the trailer. The proposed hybrid control method, which combines backward and forward motions, provide a global attractor to the desired reference trajectory. The scheme has been implemented and successfully evaluated on a radio-controlled vehicle. Results from experimental trials are reported.