In this paper, the possibility of performing severe collision avoidance maneuvers using trajectory optimization is investigated. A two degree of freedom vehicle model was used to represent dynamics of the vehicle. First, a linear tire model was used to calculate the required steering angle to perform the desired evasive maneuver, and a neighboring optimal controller was designed. Second, direct trajectory optimization algorithm was used to find the optimal trajectory with a nonlinear tire model. To evaluate the results, the calculated steering angles were fed to a full vehicle dynamics model. It was shown that the neighboring optimal controller was able to accommodate the introduced disturbances. Comparison of the resultant trajectories with other desired trajectories showed that it results in a lower lateral acceleration profile and a smaller maximum lateral acceleration; thus the time to perform an obstacle avoidance maneuver can be reduced using this method. A simulation case study of a limited lateral acceleration with constrained direct trajectory optimization shows that using the proposed trajectory optimization technique requires less time than that of trapezoidal acceleration profile for a lane change maneuver.

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