COLREGs-aware Trajectory Optimization for Autonomous Surface Vessels

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This paper presents a rule-compliant trajectory optimization method for the guidance and control of autonomous surface vessels. The method builds on Model Predictive Contouring Control and incorporates the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea - known as COLREGs - relevant for motion planning. We use these traffic rules to derive a trajectory optimization algorithm that guarantees safe navigation in mixed-traffic conditions, that is, in traffic environments with human operated vessels. The choice of an optimization-based approach enables the formalization of abstract verbal expressions, such as traffic rules, and their incorporation in the trajectory optimization algorithm along with the dynamics and other constraints that dictate the system's evolution over a sufficiently long receding horizon. The ability to plan considering different types of constraints over a long horizon in a unified manner leads to a proactive motion planner that mimics rule-compliant maneuvering behavior. The efficacy of the derived algorithm is validated in different simulation scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-274
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event14th IFAC Conference on Control Applications in Marine Systems, Robotics, and Vehicles, CAMS 2022 - Kongens Lyngby, Germany
Duration: 14 Sep 202216 Sep 2022


  • Autonomous Surface Vessels
  • Model Predictive Control
  • Traffic Regulations


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