Vehicle Autonomy

Safer Adaptive Cruise Control for Traffic Wave Dampening


Emily Baschab
Savannah Ball
Audrey Vazzana
Jonathan Sprinkle

Our goal is to develop an adaptive cruise controller for vehicles at low speeds in stop-and-go traffic. Current adaptive cruise controllers can use radar sensors to follow a vehicle at high speeds (greater than 18 mph), but reach their limits if the lead vehicle’s velocity dips below threshold, requiring the driver of the host vehicle to resume control over the car’s speed. Some cruise controllers adapt to stop-and-go traffic, but these are mostly experimental and have yet to see widespread commercial implementation. These experimental models often have issues because of their limited data; consequently, the acceleration and deceleration can be jarring and uncomfortable to passengers. In contrast, because of our reliable sensor data, and the sensor configuration unique to the CAT Vehicle, our cruise controller will be capable of following cars at low speeds and functioning continuously, even when the car is stopped.

This project has the potential to interest automobile companies who could implement this technology in future automobiles. If our technology were to be implemented in future automobiles, it would make driving considerably more convenient for drivers. This technology could also potentially reduce the number of traffic accidents, as well as making drivers feel safer when navigating traffic. However, if errors were to occur, they could potentially put the car’s passengers at risk, as well as the passengers in nearby vehicles.

Our project had a time frame of ten weeks during which we were able to model an adaptive cruise controller and test it in a simulation.

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