Master's Thesis: Low-Speed Motion Control for a Tractor/Dolly

Background
Automation of local distribution using automated dolly technology could be a viable and productive alternative for future state of the art green terminals and local distribution of container trailers. This technology offers unmanned transports, reduced driver/operator cost and removed diesel fuel cost where the semitrailer units are towed by an intelligent and electrically propelled converter dolly (i-dolly/Vera) with automatic coupling and parking of semi-trailers.
In this solution, the autonomous dolly-semitrailer combination will require accurate motion control for the auto coupling/decoupling process. This controller should consider the behavior of the vehicles at low speed. Moreover, it must deal with noisy sensor/actuator to perform safe and precise maneuvers, e.g., reverse to connect the dolly with semi-trailer. One of the major challenges is guarantee accurate and reliable maneuvers at real time combining different positioning sensors.
Objective:
The objective of the thesis is to propose a motion controller to perform precise maneuvers at low speed to coupling/decoupling with the semi-trailer. It must consider the selection of positioning sensors (e.g. lidar, cameras, etc.) and data fusion to localize both vehicles. How the accuracy of the localization system affects the motion controller must be evaluated. The reliability of the controller should be evaluated using trusty instrumentation.

Scope and Method:
Firstly, a literature survey about the state of the art of the motion control and positioning sensors for vehicle needs to be conducted. After this step, a suitable selection of the sensors and data fusion should be identified. Next step is the implementation of some methods for low-speed motion control. Following formal analysis of reliability of the controller given realistic external disturbances and noisy sensors as encountered in real driving situations should be conducted. The controller shall be verified both in simulation and in a test vehicle combination.
The duration of the study will be 20 weeks (30 ETCs, MSc thesis). The work will be carried out at Volvo Group. The outcome has potential to be published in a scientific journal or conference (depending on quality and ambitions). Suitable background is vehicle dynamics, control theory, data fusion and signal processing. Knowledge of Matlab/Simulink would be beneficial.

Please send a CV, motivational letter and grade transcripts with your application.

Thesis Level: Master
Language: English
Starting date: January 2020
Supervisors: José Vilca, Volvo Group, jose.vilca@volvo.com; Thorsten Helfrich, Volvo Group, thorsten.helfrich@volvo.com
Co-supervisors: Maliheh Sadeghi Kati, Chalmers, kani@chalmers.se; Jonas Fredriksson, Chalmers, jonas.fredriksson@chalmers.se ; Bengt Jacobson, Chalmers, bengt.jacobson@chalmers.se
Examiner: Bengt Jacobson, Chalmers, bengt.jacobson@chalmers.se or Jonas Fredriksson


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