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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2016, Article ID 9497524, 13 pages
Research Article

Improving the Lane Reference Detection for Autonomous Road Vehicle Control

University Institute for Automobile Research (INSIA), Technical University of Madrid, Campus Sur UPM, Carretera de Valencia km 7, 28031 Madrid, Spain

Received 10 March 2016; Accepted 26 April 2016

Academic Editor: Guiyun Tian

Copyright © 2016 Felipe Jiménez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Autonomous road vehicles are increasingly becoming more important and there are several techniques and sensors that are being applied for vehicle control. This paper presents an alternative system for maintaining the position of autonomous vehicles without adding additional elements to the standard sensor architecture, by using a 3D laser scanner for continuously detecting a reference element in situations in which the GNSS receiver fails or provides accuracy below the required level. Considering that the guidance variables are more accurately estimated when dealing with reference points in front of and behind the vehicle, an algorithm based on vehicle dynamics mathematical model is proposed to extend the detected points in cases where the sensor is placed at the front of the vehicle. The algorithm has been tested when driving along a lane delimited by New Jersey barriers at both sides and the results show a correct behaviour. The system is capable of estimating the reference element behind the vehicle with sufficient accuracy when the laser scanner is placed at the front of it, so the robustness of the control input variables (lateral and angular errors) estimation is improved making it unnecessary to place the sensor on the vehicle roof or to introduce additional sensors.