Real-time motion planning for agile autonomous vehicles

Emilio Frazzoli, Munther A. Dahleh, Eric Feron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

596 Scopus citations


Planning the path of an autonomous, agile vehicle in a dynamic environment is a very complex problem, especially when the vehicle is required to use its full maneuvering capabilities. Recent efforts aimed at using randomized algorithms for planning the path of kinematic and dynamic vehicles have demonstrated considerable potential for implementation on future autonomous platforms. This paper builds upon these efforts by proposing a randomized path planning architecture for dynamical systems in the presence of fixed and moving obstacles. This architecture addresses the dynamic constraints on the vehicle's motion, and it provides at the same lime a consistent decoupling between low-level control and motion planning. The path planning algorithm retains the convergence properties of its kinematic counterparts. System safety is also addressed in the face of finite computation times by analyzing the behavior of the algorithm when the available onboard computation resources are limited, and the planning must be performed in real time. The proposed algorithm can be applied to vehicles whose dynamics are described either by ordinary differential equations or by higher-level, hybrid representations. Simulation examples involving a ground robot and a small autonomous helicopter are presented and discussed. © 2001 AIAA.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-129
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

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