Joint Communication and Control for Wireless Autonomous Vehicular Platoon Systems
Autonomous vehicular platoons will play an important role in improving on-road safety in tomorrow’s smart cities. Vehicles in an autonomous platoon can exploit vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications to collect environmental information so as to maintain the target velocity and inter-vehicle distance. However, due to the uncertainty of the wireless channel, V2V communications within a platoon will experience a wireless system delay. Such system delay can impair the vehicles’ ability to stabilize their velocity and distances within their platoon. In this paper, the problem of integrated communication and control system is studied for wireless connected autonomous vehicular platoons. In particular, a novel framework is proposed for optimizing a platoon’s operation while jointly taking into account the delay of the wireless V2V network and the stability of the vehicle’s control system. First, stability analysis for the control system is performed and the maximum wireless system delay requirements which can prevent the instability of the control system are derived. Then, delay analysis is conducted to determine the end-to-end delay, including queuing, processing, and transmission delay for the V2V link in the wireless network. Subsequently, using the derived wireless delay, a lower bound and an approximated expression of the reliability for the wireless system, defined as the probability that the wireless system meets the control system’s delay needs, are derived. Then, the parameters of the control system are optimized in a way to maximize the derived wireless system reliability. Simulation results corroborate the analytical derivations and study the impact of parameters, such as the packet size and the platoon size, on the reliability performance of the vehicular platoon. More importantly, the simulation results shed light on the benefits of integrating control system and wireless network design while providing guidelines for designing an autonomous platoon so as to realize the required wireless network reliability and control system stability.