Simulation of a Vehicle Docking and Collision Avoidance System Using LIDAR-based Object Tracking

Open Access
Reigh, Kyle Michael
Area of Honors:
Mechanical Engineering
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Sean Brennan, Thesis Supervisor
  • Henry Joseph Sommer Iii, Honors Advisor
  • simulation
  • vehicle
  • docking
  • collision
  • avoidance
  • lidar
  • tracking
  • laser
  • automated
  • parking
  • obstacle
With advances in range finding technology and computing power, vehicle automation is becoming increasingly commonplace. One of the requirements for these vehicles is to meet or exceed the performance of human operators in reacting to changes in the environment. These automation systems must follow lane lines, locate and track nearby objects, and avoid these objects if possible. This is true for a variety of tasks and operations from highway driving to parking. This thesis designs a system to automate a vehicle docking system for possible use in commercial applications. In this system, all of the hardware, excluding what is necessary for vehicle steering, is located on the dock. This allows for a variety of vehicles to be used, as the range finding and the majority of processing equipment remains on the dock rather than on the individual vehicles. To test the feasibility of this system, a simulation is developed that represents the key subsystems that are necessary: lane following, object tracking, and collision avoidance. A steering control system is presented to guide the vehicle through a straight lane that leads to the dock. A simulated LIDAR scans the operating area, and a tracking algorithm is implemented to identify objects that may interrupt the vehicles progress. Finally, a decision making process is introduced that attempts to avoid objects when a collision is imminent. The result is a simulation that guides the vehicle to its final destination while avoiding any objects that may enter its path.