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Open AccessArticle

Road Profile Estimation Using a 3D Sensor and Intelligent Vehicle

School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Jilin University, Changchun 130022, China
School of Mechanical Engineering, Yanshan University, Qinhuangdao 066004, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2020, 20(13), 3676;
Received: 24 May 2020 / Revised: 23 June 2020 / Accepted: 28 June 2020 / Published: 30 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Intelligent Sensors)
Autonomous vehicles can achieve accurate localization and real-time road information perception using sensors such as global navigation satellite systems (GNSSs), light detection and ranging (LiDAR), and inertial measurement units (IMUs). With road information, vehicles can navigate autonomously to a given position without traffic accidents. However, most of the research on autonomous vehicles has paid little attention to road profile information, which is a significant reference for vehicles driving on uneven terrain. Most vehicles experience violent vibrations when driving on uneven terrain, which reduce the accuracy and stability of data obtained by LiDAR and IMUs. Vehicles with an active suspension system, on the other hand, can maintain stability on uneven roads, which further guarantees sensor accuracy. In this paper, we propose a novel method for road profile estimation using LiDAR and vehicles with an active suspension system. In the former, 3D laser scanners, IMU, and GPS were used to obtain accurate pose information and real-time cloud data points, which were added to an elevation map. In the latter, the elevation map was further processed by a Kalman filter algorithm to fuse multiple cloud data points at the same cell of the map. The model predictive control (MPC) method is proposed to control the active suspension system to maintain vehicle stability, thus further reducing drifts of LiDAR and IMU data. The proposed method was carried out in outdoor environments, and the experiment results demonstrated its accuracy and effectiveness. View Full-Text
Keywords: autonomous vehicle; laser measurement; model predictive control; measurement uncertainty autonomous vehicle; laser measurement; model predictive control; measurement uncertainty
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Ni, T.; Li, W.; Zhao, D.; Kong, Z. Road Profile Estimation Using a 3D Sensor and Intelligent Vehicle. Sensors 2020, 20, 3676.

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