Distributed Automotive Control

The advent of cheap, standardized intra-vehicular networking and computing has opened up possibilities for radically new features that improve the safety, performance and comfort of cars and trucks. Examples include electronic-stability control systems, which involve the integrated use steering, braking and suspension systems to enhance driver-control in difficult road conditions; hybrid powertrains, which involve the tightly-coupled integration of different propulsion technologies (gasoline, electric, etc.) to maximize fuel economy; and accident-mitigation systems, which use input from radar and other sensor systems to detect imminent accidents and undertake actions, such as pretensioning seat-belts and raising the pressure in brake-hydraulic systems, to minimize the effects of the accident.

The design and development of these control subsystems is at present severely hampered by the lack of tools for modeling interacting distributed control systems. In particular, since the component subsystems are often developed by different suppliers, the plant models used in designing these subsystems are different and need to be reconciled and composed. We expect that the MCAI theory of compositional controller/plant modeling and verification developed in this project has the potential to revolutionize how distributed automotive control systems are designed and validated. For this reason, we intend to use distributed automotive control, and electronic-stability control applications in particular, as pilot problems for assessing the research results that are obtained.


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nsfSupported by an Expeditions in Computing award from the National Science Foundation