Receding horizon path planning with implicit safety guarantees

Tom Schouwenaars, Jonathan How, Eric Feron

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

142 Scopus citations


This paper extends a recently developed approach to optimal path planning of autonomous vehicles, based on mixed integer linear programming (MILP), to account for safety. We consider the case of a single vehicle navigating through a cluttered environment which is only known within a certain detection radius around the vehicle. A receding horizon strategy is presented with hard terminal constraints that guarantee feasibility of the MILP problem at all future time steps. The trajectory computed at each iteration is constrained to end in a so called basis state, in which the vehicle can safely remain for an indefinite period of time. The principle is applied to the case of a UAV with limited turn rate and minimum speed requirements, for which safety conditions are derived in the form of loiter circles. The latter need not be known ahead of time and are implicitly computed online. An example scenario is presented that illustrates the necessity of these safety constraints when the knowledge of the environment is limited and/or hard real-time restrictions are given.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the American Control Conference
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Nov 29 2004
Externally publishedYes

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