Active trailer steering control for high-capacity vehicle combinations

K. Kural, P. Hatzidimitris, N. van de Wouw, I.J.M. Besselink, H. Nijmeijer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
225 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper, a new control strategy for the active steering of a trailers of longer and heavier vehicle combinations is proposed to improve both low speed maneuverability and high speed stability. A novelty of the approach is in the use of a single controller structure for all velocities using a gain scheduling method for optimal performance at any velocity. To achieve such a control objective, the problem is initially formulated as a path following problem and subsequently transformed into a tracking problem using a reference model. To support controller design, a generic nonlinear model of a double articulated vehicle, based on a single track model, is employed. The proposed systematic design approach allows to easily adjust the controller for additional trailers or different dimensions, in which only some of the towed vehicles are allowed to steer. The performance of the controller is verified on a high-fidelity multi-body model for evidencing the practical applicability of the approach. Simulation results show substantial reduction of both, the swept path width and tail swing for low speed, and the rearward amplification for high speed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8086183
Pages (from-to)251-265
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Intelligent Vehicles
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • Active steering
  • intelligent vehicles
  • land transportation
  • vehicle safety and maneuverability


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