An improved fuzzy logic control method for path tracking of an autonomous vehicle

L. J. Yao, S. K. Pitla, C. Zhao, C. T. Liew, D. Hu, Z. D. Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This article presents a path-tracking algorithm based on an improved fuzzy logic control method (IFM) that generates optimal steering angles for an autonomous wheeled vehicle to track a sequence of waypoints. The path-tracking algorithm was designed to focus on the vehicle performance, including tracking accuracy, stability, and convergence speed. A prototype vehicle with two-wheel steering and two-wheel drive (2WS-2WD) was developed as a test platform and equipped with a series of sensors for evaluating the IFM. In this study, we considered two variables, i.e., lateral deviation (d) and heading deviation (θ), as inputs for the control system. The output (δ) was the steering angle of the front wheels as controlled by an electric linear actuator. A maximum steering angle strategy was adopted for rapid convergence when the vehicle was far from the desired path or when the heading deviation was large. An update-line distance algorithm was used for finding the best turning time as the vehicle moved closer to the next waypoint. To validate the proposed algorithm, testing was performed to compare traditional pure pursuit (TPP), traditional fuzzy logic control method (TFM), and the IFM in tracking two types of paths (straight and rectangular). Traveling at 0.5 m s-1 and with a signal sampling period of 0.5 s, the prototype converged to the desired straight path from different initial states. When the vehicle reached a stable state, the steady-state error was between 5.0 and 6.5 cm with a mean of ≤6.0 cm. The settling distance in the straight path test was between 125.0 and 422.3 cm, and the convergence time was in the range of 11.5 to 16.0 s; the greater the initial deviation of the vehicle was, the greater the settling distance and settling time were. In the 15 m x 14 m rectangular path test, the overall mean error of the IFM was 14.4 cm when the initial lateral and heading deviations were 0, and the maximum deviation was 67.4 cm, which occurred at the corners. The test results show that the proposed IFM had better accuracy, stability, and convergence speed for path tracking when compared to the TPP and TFM algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1895-1904
Number of pages10
JournalTransactions of the ASABE
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2020


  • Autonomous vehicle
  • Fuzzy logic controller
  • Path tracking
  • Pure Pursuit algorithm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Food Science
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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