Switching from autopilot to the driver: a transient performance analysis

Seshan Ramanathan Venkita (Corresponding author), Dehlia Willemsen, Mohsen Alirezaei, Henk Nijmeijer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


One of the main safety concerns associated with semi-autonomous vehicles is the sharing of control between a human driver and an autonomous driving system. Even with an attentive driver, such switches in control may pose a threat to the safety of the driver and the surrounding vehicles. The aim of this study is to develop an indicator that can measure the level of safety during a driver take-over, using knowledge about the system known a priori. A model-based approach is used to analyse the system with special focus on the lateral dynamics of the vehicle. The driver and the vehicle are modelled as linear systems, and a path tracking controller is used to serve as an autonomous system. With this structure, shared control is studied as a switched system, in which the vehicle’s lateral control switches between the autonomous system and the driver. A bound on the transient dynamics that arise due to a switch is derived, using the induced L norm. This bound is then used to formulate an indicator that checks if the states/outputs of interest are within acceptable limits. A comparison with simulation results has shown that the indicator successfully captures the effect of different system parameters on take-over safety, although in a slightly conservative manner. This indicator can be further developed as a tool to be used in the design and evaluation of shared-/multi-modal control systems in future vehicles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1346-1360
Number of pages15
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part D: Journal of Automobile Engineering
Issue number5
Early online date14 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • human–machine systems
  • semi-autonomous driving systems
  • shared-/multi-modal control
  • Switched control systems
  • transient dynamics
  • transition of control
  • human-machine systems


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