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Abstract



Computing the Ideal Racing Line Using Optimal Control


In racing, it is useful to analyze vehicle performance and driving strategies to achieve the best result possible in competitions. This is often done by simulations and test driving. In this thesis optimal control is used to examine how a racing car should be driven to minimize the lap time. This is achieved by calculating the optimal racing line at various tracks. The tracks can have arbitrary layout and consist of corners with non-constant radius. The road can have variable width. A four wheel vehicle model with lateral and longitudinal weight transfer is used. To increase the performance of the optimization algorithm, a set of additional techniques are used. The most important one is to divide tracks into smaller overlapping segments and find the optimal line for each segment independently. This turned out to be useful when the track is long. The optimal racing line is found for various tracks and cars. The solutions have several similarities to real driving techniques. The result is presented as driving instructions in Racer, a car simulator.

Thomas Gustafsson

2008

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