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Microscopic Trafc Dynamics and Platoon Control Based on Bond

Graph Modeling
P. Kumar, R. Merzouki, B. Ould Bouamama, and H. Haffaf
AbstractModeling of trafc dynamic is important for the
good trafc management which leads to sustainable transport.
Trafc models are classied based on level of details they
provide as microscopic models and macroscopic models. A
microscopic model of trafc ow describes the behavior of
individual vehicle in response to motion of the vehicle preceding
it, while, a macroscopic model describes the behavior of the
trafc as a whole, but the behavior of individual vehicle is not
described.
In the present work, we develop a microscopic model of
car-following behavior of the vehicles and introduce the sub-
microscopic model of trafc, in which the dynamic model of
each vehicle is developed, which is not considered in most of
the existing microscopic models. Then, a model based control
strategy is proposed for the local control of the platoon of the
intelligent autonomous vehicles (IAVs). This model based con-
trol strategy analytically provides the calculation of necessary
effort for the follower IAV to maintain the safe inter-distance
with the leader IAV.
I. INTRODUCTION
Modeling of trafc dynamic is important for the good traf-
c management. A good trafc model helps in reducing the
congestion and the pollution. Also, it helps in infrastructure
optimization by providing cooperative driving (platooning).
When a transport system is equipped with information and
communication technology (ICT) tools, it becomes intelli-
gent transport system (ITS). Nowadays, IAVs can be used for
the platooning of vehicles in the conned space like container
terminal to improve the performance of the system. In this
paper, we model the microscopic trafc dynamic based on
the communication between vehicles.
Microscopic model describes both the space-time behavior
of the vehicles as well as their interactions at a high level
of detail (individually). These models are based on supposed
mechanisms describing the process of one vehicle following
another. The follower vehicles motion (position, speed and
acceleration) is determined according to the motion of the
leader vehicle.
Microscopic models are also called Car-following mod-
els, in which leader vehicle inuences the driving behavior of
P. Kumar, R. Merzouki and B. Ould-Bouamama
are with the LAGIS, UMR CNRS 8219,
Ecole Polytechnique Universitaire de
Lille 1, Avenue Paul Langevin, 59655
Villeneuve dAscq, Lille, France
(e-mail: jahan.pushp@gmail.com;
rochdi.merzouki@polytech-lille.fr;
Belkacem.Ouldbouamama@polytech-lille.fr)
H. Haffaf is with the Faculty of Science,
Computer Science Department Oran University
El MNaouar, Oran, Algeria (e-mail:
Haffaf.hafid@univ-oran.dz)
the follower vehicle. Various car-following models have been
developed since early 1950s. In 1953, Pipes [1] developed
safe-distance car-following models describe the dynamics
of a vehicle in relation to its leading vehicle. Other safe-
distance models are also presented in the contributions:
Forbes (1959) [2] presented an improved safe-distance model
with taking into consideration the driver reaction time. A
similar approach was proposed by Kometani (1959) [3]
assuming that vehicle separation is proportional to both speed
of the subject vehicle and the leading vehicle. Gipps (1981)
[4] derived the model by setting the limits of performance
of the driver and vehicle.
In 1961, Gazis, Herman and Rothery [5] proposed a
generic stimulus-response model. The model is known as
GHR (Gazis-Herman-Rothery) model. GHR model is the
most well known model in trafc literature. The models
describe acceleration and deceleration response of a follower
vehicle due to driving action of the leader vehicle. Another
car-following model which is known as optimal velocity
model (OVM) was proposed by Bando (1995) [6]. In this
model, the legal velocity function is introduced, which is a
function of the distance headway between the leader and the
follower vehicles. Li (2008) [7] presented a modied OVM
by adding an acceleration-adjustment term.
For platooning of vehicles some recent contributions in-
clude; Yi (2005) [8] proposed an impedance control sys-
tem utilizing a spring-damper system for vehicle platoon.
Avanzini (2009) [9] proposed a global platoon control
strategy, supported by inter-vehicle communications. Contet
(2009) [10] proposed a local control approach to linear
platoons for the control of inter-vehicle distance and common
trajectory matching.
In the above literature, the dynamic model of the vehicle
is not considered in most of the model. We propose a model
which describes the dynamics of car-following behavior
including the dynamics of individual vehicle and propose
a model based local control of the platoon of vehicles. For
this, we use a energy based graphical approach named bond
graph (Mukherjee 2006) [11]. The characteristics of the bond
graph modeling approach are as following:
The Bond graph modeling is based on the power transfer
principle between the different elements of the studied
system. The system is modeled using inertia element I,
compliance element C, and dissipative element R.
The mathematical equations (differential equations) can
be deduced systematically from the Bond graph model.
This modeling technique allows to strongly simplify
the analysis techniques and to calculate the formal
Proceedings of the 16th International IEEE Annual Conference on
Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITSC 2013), The Hague, The
Netherlands, October 6-9, 2013
WeC6.5
978-1-4799-2914-613/$31.00 2013 IEEE
2349
expressions of the control laws, offering a physical
comprehension of the obtained properties.
The Bond graph is very powerful to model in a unied
way the physical systems of various natures and inde-
pendently of the considered eld (mechanical, electrical,
thermal etc.).
A. Paper Organization
In Section II, we develop the bond graph model of
the trafc system, starting from the sub-microscopic model
to microscopic model. In Section III, the platoon control
strategy is described and the simulation results are discussed
in Section IV. The conclusion and future work is described
in Section V.
II. BOND GRAPH MODELING
A. Sub-microscopic Model
At sub-microscopic level, we develop two dimensional
model of an IAV named RobuCar as shown in Fig. 1,
the RobuCar has four traction wheels actuated with four
independent DC motors. There are two steering systems, rst
for the two front wheels and second for the two rear wheels.
The vehicle is equipped with an inertial sensor to measure
its longitudinal, lateral and yaw speeds. Also, sensors are
mounted to measure the angular speed of the each wheel
and the current drawn by the each motor.
Fig. 1: IAV RobuCar at LAGIS
In Fig. 2, we can see the schematic top view of the IAV
in which x-y is body xed frame and X-Y is inertial frame.
The orientation of x axis with respect to X axis is given by
. The dimensions of the vehicle are denoted by a, b and c,
while G represents the centre of mass (CM) of the vehicle to
which x-y frame is xed. Angle denotes the steering angle
of the wheel. F
lj
and F
cj
(where j is wheel number =1, 2,
3 or 4) denote the longitudinal force and the cornering force
transmitted to the wheel respectively.
For the modeling of the IAV following modeling assump-
tions are made: (i) the vehicle moves in a plane surface
(ii) the road is uniform and the suspension, roll and pitch
dynamics are not considered (iii) each wheel is independently
driven by DC motor and (iv) all the four wheels are steerable.
Finally, we consider the following dynamics: (i) traction
actuator, slip and steering dynamics of the wheel and (ii)
longitudinal, lateral and yaw dynamics of the vehicle body
(CM). The word bond graph for the considered dynamics of
the vehicle is shown in Fig. 3.
Fig. 2: Schematic diagram of the IAV
In the wheel-j dynamics part, voltage source provides
voltage U
mj
and current i
j
to the electrical part of the motor,
which gives output (voltage U
j
) to the mechanical part of
the motor. The output of the motor (torque
j
and angular
speed
j
) and the effect of steering and slip dynamics (force
F
sj
and slip velocity v
sj
), generate wheel velocity v
wj
and
force F
j
, which is transmitted to the vehicle body. The
dynamics of the four wheels generate longitudinal, lateral
and yaw dynamics of the vehicle body. Pathak (2008) [12]
and Loureiro (2012) [13], developed the dynamic model of
an autonomous vehicle using the bong graph technique.
Fig. 4: Considered scheme of jth motor and wheel system
The vehicle is composed of four independent quarters of
vehicles (wheel-1, wheel-2, wheel-3 and wheel-4). Let us
start with the dynamics of wheel-j (j=1, 2, 3 and 4). Fig.
4 shows the considered scheme of the motor and wheel
system. The corresponding bond graph model of the wheel-
j dynamics is shown in Fig. 5. In electrical part of the
motor, U
mj
, I
mj
, R
mj
and k
j
represent voltage, inductance,
resistance and torque constant of the motor respectively. In
mechanical part of the motor, I
aj
and R
aj
represent polar
moment of inertia and friction of the wheel-axle respectively.
Angle is the steering angle and r is the radius of the
wheel. R
xj
and R
yj
represent the slip contribution in x and y
direction respectively. The full headed arrows corresponding
to current i
j
in motor and angular speed of the wheel
axle
j
represent the sensors to measure the value of the
corresponding parameter.
The dynamic equations of the system are systematically
deduced from the bond graph model in Fig. 5, where e
n
and f
n
are the effort and ow in the corresponding bond
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Fig. 3: Word bond graph of the vehicle
Fig. 5: Bond graph model of the motor and wheel dynamics
number n (n=1, 2, 3...). The state-space equations of the
system are derived by applying junction law corresponding
to bonds 1,2,3,4 and bonds 5,6,7,8 as following:
p
..
_
p
mj
p
aj
_
=
A
..
_

Rmj
Imj

kj
Iaj
kj
Imj

Raj
Iaj
_
p
..
_
p
mj
p
aj
_
+
B
..
_
1 0
0 1
_
u
..
_
U
mj
rF
lj
_
q
..
_
i
j

j
_
=
C
..
_
1
Imj
0
0
1
Iaj
_
p
..
_
p
mj
p
aj
_
(1)
The longitudinal and lateral speeds of the wheel x
wj
and
y
wj
respectively in conjunction with wheels spinning speed
generate the longitudinal and lateral slip speeds x
sj
and
y
sj
respectively, and the dynamic relations can be derived
from the junction law corresponding to bonds 9,10,11,12 and
bonds 17,18,19 as given below:
x
sj
= r
j
x
wj
cos y
wj
sin (2)
y
sj
= x
wj
sin + y
wj
cos (3)
The longitudinal force F
lj
and cornering force F
cj
are
functions of the longitudinal and lateral slip speeds respec-
tively and the dynamic equations can be derived from the
junction law corresponding to bonds 10,13 and bonds 17,20
as given below:
F
lj
= R
xj
x
sj
(4)
F
cj
= R
yj
y
sj
(5)
For small value of slip and not considering wheel camber,
the values of R
xj
and R
yj
can be given as (Drozdz 1991)
[14]: R
xj
=
Cx
x
and R
yj
=
Cy
x
. The coefcients C
x
and C
y
are dependent on vertical wheel load and x is the velocity of
CM of the vehicle in x direction. F
xj
and F
yj
are the forces
generated by the wheel in x and y directions respectively,
and are transmitted to the body of the vehicle in x and y
directions respectively, the equations can be derived from
the junction law corresponding to bonds 14,15,16 and bonds
21,22,23 as given below:
F
xj
= F
lj
cos F
cj
sin (6)
F
yj
= F
lj
sin F
cj
cos (7)
The complete bond graph model of the IAV considering all
the dynamics is shown in Fig. 6. Symbols m and J represent
mass and polar moment of inertia of the IAV respectively.
The dimensions of the IAV are denoted by a, b and c in
modulous of transformer elements. The full headed arrows
corresponding to the speeds ( x, y,

X,

Y and

) of the
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Fig. 6: Complete bond graph model of the IAV
vehicles CM, represent the sensors to measure the value
of the corresponding parameter.
In Fig. 6, the longitudinal and lateral motions of the four
wheels are transformed to longitudinal, lateral and angular
motion of the vehicle body. The dynamic relations can be
deduced from this bond graph. By applying junction law at
longitudinal, lateral and yaw dynamics junctions, we get the
following equations:
m x = F
x1
+ F
x2
+ F
x3
+ F
x4
+ m

y (8)
m y = F
y1
+ F
y2
+ F
y3
+ F
y4
m

x (9)
J

= (F
y1
+ F
y2
) a (F
y3
+ F
y4
) b
(F
x1
F
x2
F
x3
+ F
x4
) c (10)
The dynamic relations for longitudinal, lateral and yaw
motions of the IAV are given by equations (8), (9) and (10)
respectively. The velocity of the CM in inertial frame X-
Y is obtained by the transformation of x-y frame by angle
. In this way, now we have the complete two dimensional
dynamic model of an IAV.
B. Microscopic Model
At microscopic level of trafc ow, the interaction be-
tween the vehicles is observed. A microscopic model of
trafc is car-following model, in which leader vehicle
inuences the driving behavior of the follower vehicle. The
relative motion of the follower vehicle depends on the motion
of the leader vehicle and follower vehicle always tries to
maintain a minimum safe separation (inter-distance) with
leader vehicle.
In our approach of modeling at microscopic level, we
model car-following behavior between the leader and the
follower vehicles based on the stick-slip dynamic. This
stick-slip phenomenon is found mainly on the relative motion
issued from the contact between different rigid mechanisms.
This stick-slip motion generates a jerky phenomenon by the
presence of certain exibility in the contact and represents
a succession of jumps and stop. In this stick-slip dynamics,
when the inter-distance reaches to a very small value then
follower vehicle applies brakes and, when the inter-distance
increases then follower vehicle again accelerate.
In this work, we develop the model of this stick-slip
motion based on inter-distance as the physical connection
between the vehicles. Actually, this physical connection is
virtual, and we emulate this connection by the spring-dashpot
system to represent the stick-slip motion as shown in Fig.
7. This virtual interconnection system represents in reality
the state information of the inter-distance variables collected
from the sensor and establishes the communication between
the IAVs.
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Fig. 7: Platoon of IAVs virtually connected by spring-dashpot system
In Fig. 7, we can see the platoon of i-vehicles (i=1,2,3...),
which are virtually connected by the spring-dashpot. The
spring stiffness, damping coefcient and position of the
vehicles are denoted by k
i
, b
i
and x
i
respectively. Let us
consider the generic system of leader (n
th
) and follower
(n +1
th
) vehicles. We connect sub-microscopic bond graph
models of two vehicles by the bond graph model of the
spring-dashpot system. The microscopic bond graph model
is shown in Fig. 8.
Fig. 8: Microscopic bond graph model connects sub-
microscopic bond graphs of leader and follower vehicles with
a virtual bond graph model of spring-dashpot system
In Fig. 8, bonds 1 and 2 connect the spring-dashpot system
to the longitudinal dynamic 1 junctions of vehicle(n+1)
and vehicle(n) respectively. The ow f
2
from the leader
vehicle(n) is transmitted to the virtual spring-dashpot system
with a full headed arrow bond, which represents the ow
activated bond and transfer only ow to the system and
does not receive effort from the system; this restores the
anisotropic property (motion of the leader vehicle is not
affected by the motion of the follower vehicle) of the
trafc ow. The effort e
1
from the spring-dashpot system is
transmitted to the follower vehicle(n+1) to determine its ow
f
1
. The parameters k
n
and b
n
denote the spring stiffness and
damping coefcient respectively, which are used to calculate
the inter-distance. The dynamic relations for the microscopic
trafc model can be derived from the bond graph shown in
Fig. 8. By applying the junction law corresponding to bonds
3,4,5 we get the governing equation of the microscopic trafc
dynamic and is given by the equation (16), as following:
m
(n+1)
x
(n+1)
+ b
n
( x
(n+1)
x
(n)
) + k
n
(x
(n+1)
x
(n)
t)
= F
x1(n+1)
+ F
x2(n+1)
+ F
x3(n+1)
+ F
x4(n+1)
m
(n+1)

(n+1)
y
(n+1)
(11)
The speeds x
(n+1)
, x
(n)
, y
(n+1)
and

are measured by
the sensors mounted on the IAVs. The state value of inter-
distance d (here we consider inter-distance as the distance
between the CM of the two IAVs) between the leader and
follower vehicles with respect to inerial frame is given by
d = X
n
X
n+1
.
III. PLATOON CONTROL
In this section, we use the microscopic bond graph model
developed in previous section for the context of platoon
control. The virtual physical inter-connection between the
IAVs is the base of the local platoon control algorithm.
This virtual inter-connection system analytically describes
the necessary effort calculated by the follower vehicle in
order to maintain the safe inter-distance. From the bond
graph model shown in Fig 8, we can develop the control
strategy as shown in Fig. 9.
Fig. 9: Platoon Control Strategy
In Fig. 9, the rst summation junction represents the 0-
junction corresponding to bonds 1,2,3 and second summation
junction represents 1-junction corresponding to bonds 3,4,5
of bond graph model in Fig. 8. At rst summation junction
the difference of speeds of the leader and the follower IAVs
is taken as the error signal f
3
. A proportinal-integral (PI)
control strategy is applied to compensate this error and to
calculate the necessary effort e
3
to be applied on the follower
vehicle. The control equations are given below:
error in speed:
f
3
= f
2
f
1
= x
n
x
n+1
(12)
control effort applied on follower vehicle:
e
3
= e
4
+ e
5
= b
n
( x
n
x
n+1
) + k
n
_
( x
n
x
n+1
) (13)
IV. SIMULATION RESULTS
For the simulation purpose, we use Symbols Shakti soft-
ware. SYMBOLS acronym stands for SYstem Modeling by
BOndgraph Language and Simulation. It is a modeling,
simulation and control systems software for a variety of
scientic and engineering applications. In Fig. 10, the screen
shot of the software plateform is shown.
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Fig. 10: Software Plateform Symbols
The simulation parameters for the RobuCar are as fol-
lowing: m = 390Kg, J = 160Kgm
2
, a = 0.96m, b =
0.88m, c = 0.65m, and the values for spring stiffness and
damping coefcient are taken as k
n
= 100N/m and b
n
=
0.1Ns/m. The position and speed of follower vehicle (n+1)
are shown in Fig. 11 and Fig. 12 respectively, in response of
uniform motion of the leader vehicle (n). We can notice that
the follower vehicle (n+1) decreases its speed, when it comes
closer (decrease of inter-distance) to the leader vehicle (n)
and again increases its speed when the separation is more
(increase of inter-distance). In this way, this model based
control of platoon performs well.
Fig. 11: Space-time behavior of a platoon of two IAVs
Fig. 12: Speed-time behavior of a platoon of two IAVs
V. CONCLUSION AND FUTURE WORK
In the present work, we proposed a microscopic model
of trafc dynamic based on graphical approach bond graph
modeling. The model describes the dynamic of car-following
behavior including the dynamics of individual vehicle. Then,
we propose a model based local control of the platoon of
IAVs, which analytically provides the calculation of neces-
sary effort for the follower IAV to maintain the safe inter-
distance with the leader IAV. The simulation results show
that this model based controller performs well and regulates
the speed of follower IAV to maintain safe inter-distance
with the leader IAV. In the future work, we are interested to
extend the model for macroscopic trafc dynamic using this
energy based graphical modeling technique bond graph.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
This work is supported and funded by European project
Weastows (196G), Interreg IVB north-west Europe, [15].
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