Smart Driving Solutions Research Center

Forgotten revolution in automotive industry

The Full Authority Vehicle Control (FAVeC) Project will deliver the control system layer providing full separation of the driver (or, alternatively, an autonomous driving algorithm) from the car in tasks dealing with vehicle dynamics. Such setup is heavily inspired from aerospace, both military and civil applications, where human pilot capabilities are not sufficient in terms of response times, sensorics, and forces needed for actuation. The existing commercial drive by wire systems are commonly limited to mechanical parts substitution by non-intelligent mechatronic sub-systems. This half way solution inherits all disadvantages of fully active actuation (lack of natural force feedback) and drops all desirable benefits (augmentation of driver sensorics, higher bandwidth and precision, possibility to exploit over-actuated vehicle's full potential). Here the proposed FAVeC layer will provide this functionality: the human driver will take the role of mission planner, and the execution will be assured by the smart drive-by-wire system. This solution will serve as a technology enabler for new car concepts, and also for safe and predictable autonomous driving solutions. The functionality of "autopilot" providing autonomous operation is just a tip of iceberg from the control system point of view. Such functionality should be based on a robust control system, with an approved structure, dedicated to stabilization, damping, attitude control and, on top of that, path tracking. Yet current development in autonomous technologies for automotive applications is mainly focused directly and only on this tip of ice berg, omitting these important underlying loops. FAVeC project aims at proper and systematic investigation of such complex vehicle control laws, and at research of model-based robust multi-variable methodologies for their design.