Path Planning
& Navigation
for Autonomous
Ground Vehicles


Contact Information

Roger Lopez
Manager
Autonomous Systems & Controls
(210) 522-3832
rlopez@swri.org

Image: In 2006, SwRI initiated a multi-million dollar research and development program called the Mobile Autonomous Robotics Technology Initiative (MARTI®) formerly the Southwest Safe Transport Initiative (SSTI). Click image for larger view.

In 2006, SwRI initiated a multi-million dollar research and development program called the Mobile Autonomous Robotics Technology Initiative (MARTI®) formerly the Southwest Safe Transport Initiative (SSTI). Click image for larger view.

 

Image: Integrated autonomy hardware controls the SwRI’s unmanned autonomous vehicle. Click image for larger view.

Integrated autonomy hardware controls the SwRI’s unmanned autonomous vehicle. Click image for larger view.

Engineering solutions in support of unmanned and autonomous systems have been provided by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) since 1993. SwRI has capabilities and experience in all classes of autonomous vehicles, including:

  • Ground
  • Sea
  • Air

SwRI applies its diverse engineering expertise and facilities to address challenges in autonomous system technologies such as:

  • Image processing
  • Sensor fusion
  • Embedded computing
  • Navigation
  • Path planning
  • Command and control

Engineers apply model-based design techniques to:

  • Develop autonomous system models
  • Design navigation and control algorithms
  • Test real-time software

The models and algorithms are initially evaluated using both proprietary and open-source simulations. Embedded code can be created from the models using off-the-shelf code generation and optimization tools. Once on the target platform, hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulations are performed. SwRI staff members perform design and development under AS9100 and ISO 9001:2000-compliant processes.

Mobile Autonomous Robotics Technology Initiative (MARTI®)

In 2006, SwRI initiated a multi-million dollar research and development program called the Mobile Autonomous Robotics Technology Initiative (MARTI) formerly the Southwest Safe Transport Initiative (SSTI). The MARTI program was begun to build on SwRI’s history of supporting the automotive industry and developing technologies for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). The initiative aims at improving vehicle performance and traffic safety by integrating sensors, computers and mobile technologies into vehicles with the long-term focus of developing autonomous vehicle technologies. This focus on autonomous vehicle technology development is driven by internal funding provided to research the current state-of-the-art in this area and then develop a demonstration platform capable of autonomously navigating safely in an urban and trafficked environment.

The chosen demonstration platform is a commercially available Ford Explorer retrofitted with the sensors, actuators, and computing hardware needed to sense the state of the world and make intelligent decisions based on that information. Commercial off-the-shelf hardware is primarily used to accomplish these tasks, so the main focus is on increasing the state-of-the-art in areas such as sensor processing, world modeling, situational awareness, knowledge representation, value judgment, dynamic vehicle control, route and path planning, and behavior generation.

Additional path planning and navigation for autonomous ground vehicles information is available:

Related Terminology

path planning  •  autonomous ground vehicle navigation  •  autonomous systems  •  MARTI  •  intelligent transportation  •  unmanned ground vehicle  •  autonomy hardware  •  vehicle navigation

Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology
Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 9 technical divisions.

04/15/14