Pragmatic and Effective Enhancements for Stanley Path-Tracking Controller by Considering System Delay


Main control loop of the demonstrator vehicle.
Main control loop of the demonstrator vehicle

The Stanley controller is a proven approach for path tracking control in automated vehicles. If time delays occur, for example, in signal processing and steering angle control, precision and stability decrease. In this article, enhancements for the Stanley controller are proposed to achieve stable behavior with improved tracking accuracy. The approach uses the curvature of the path as feedforward, whereby the reference point for the feedforward input differs from that of the controller setpoints. By choosing a point further along the path, the negative effects of system delay are reduced. First, the parameters of the Stanley controller are calibrated using a straight line and circle maneuver. Then, the newly introduced feedforward parameter is optimized on a dynamic circuit. The approach was evaluated in simulation and validated on a demonstrator vehicle. The validation tests with the demonstrator vehicle on the dynamic circuit revealed a reduction of the root-mean-square cross-track error from 0.11 m to 0.03 m compared to the Stanley controller. We proved that the proposed approach optimizes the Stanley controller in terms of compensating for the negative effects of system delay. This allows it to be used in a wider range of applications that would otherwise require a more complex control approach.