Cooperative Control of Heterogeneous Connected Vehicle Platoons: An Adaptive Leader-Following Approach

Junyan Hu, Parijat Bhowmick, Farshad Arvin, Alexander Lanzon, Barry Lennox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Automatic cruise control of a platoon of multiple connected vehicles in an automated highway system has drawn significant attention of the control practitioners over the past two decades due to its ability to reduce traffic congestion problems, improve traffic throughput and enhance safety of highway traffic. This paper proposes a two-layer distributed control scheme to maintain the string stability of a heterogeneous and connected vehicle platoon moving in one dimension with constant spacing policy assuming constant velocity of the lead vehicle. A feedback linearization tool is applied first to transform the nonlinear vehicle dynamics into a linear heterogeneous statespace model and then a distributed adaptive control protocol has been designed to keep equal inter-vehicular spacing between any consecutive vehicles while maintaining a desired longitudinal velocity of the entire platoon. The proposed scheme utilizes only the neighbouring state information (i.e. relative distance, velocity and acceleration) and the leader is not required to communicate with each and every one of the following vehicles directly since the interaction topology of the vehicle platoon is designed to have a spanning tree rooted at the leader. Simulation results demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed platoon control scheme. Moreover, the practical feasibility of the scheme was validated by hardware experiments with real robots.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)977-984
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Issue number2
Early online date13 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Intelligent transportation systems
  • multi-robot systems
  • robust/adaptive control of robotic systems


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