Motion planning for autonomous ferries

Background & motivation

  • Robust and efficient algorithms for motion planning and collision avoidance are key to enable autonomous ferries. 
  • Currently, relatively robust solutions are available for low-complexity operation domains such as short canal crossings. This was e.g. demonstrated by a 3-hour continuous operation of milliAmpere in December 2020.

Problem description

  • Moving to more complex operational domains including e.g. long transits and complex traffic situations, further research on motion planning and collision avoidance is required.
  • Important keywords are the “rules of the road” (COLREGs), traffic interactions and online risk management.

Work proposal

  • Perform a literature survey on relevant algorithms for motion planning and collision avoidance, and get familiar with the existing motion planning and collision avoidance system on milliAmpere.
  • Evaluate the performance of different algorithms when faced with operational domains of increasing complexity. 
    • This will largely be done in simulations, but full-scale experiments are also desirable.

Figure 1: Illustration of the motion planning algorithm on milliAmpere.