During the last years, our group has worked on real-time formulations for the dynamics of multi-body systems. Now, in order to find out whether such methods are suitable to address real industrial problems, we intend to develop control algorithms for a car on its computer model (virtual prototyping), and evaluate the performance of such controllers when implemented on the corresponding physical prototype. This paper addresses the first part of the work. Two maneuvers are to be considered: straight line and obstacle avoidance. The computer model of the car has been coded in Fortran language. Fuzzy logic has been chosen to design the control algorithms, which have been implemented on the Matlab environment. Several alternatives to connect Fortran and Matlab-based functions have been studied, concluding that the most appropriate election depends on the purpose being pursued: controller tuning or onboard use of an already tuned controller. Simulator capabilities have been given to the program by means of a realistic graphical output and game-type driving peripherals (steering wheel and pedals), so that comparison may be established between human and designed automatic control.

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