A real-world application of lane-guidance technologies - Automated snowblower
- Author(s): Tan, Han-Shue
- Bu, Fanping
- Bougler, Benedicte
- et al.
This paper describes the development process and the initial field test results of an automated snowblower, focusing on one of the more difficult snow removal operations: blowing snow off the freeway alongside a guardrail without the snowblower touching the guardrail. The development process includes transforming this highway winter maintenance operation into a control problem, modeling a snowblower, designing control algorithms, devising a human-machine interface, and equipping a 20-ton snowblower with sensors and an actuator. Specific challenges include modeling the low-speed tire-induced oscillation, designing high-gain automatic control on front wheels while keeping rear steering under driver control, and implementing such a system under practical limitations. A new dynamic deflection tire model is incorporated into a bicycle model to account for the additional lateral dynamics. A low-order controller was first generated based on the understanding of the specific control problem and, then, refined and tuned iteratively using linear-matrix-inequality optimization. The initial winter field tests were successfully conducted with embedded magnetic markers along the guardrails installed on the shoulders of Interstate-80 in the Sierra Mountain region close to Donner Summit, CA, during the winter of 2005.
Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC Academic Senate's Open Access Policy. Let us know how this access is important for you.