SL1-Simplex: Safe Velocity Regulation of Self-Driving Vehicles in Dynamic and Unforeseen Environments

Yanbing Mao, Yuliang Gu, Naira Hovakimyan, Lui Sha, Petros Voulgaris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article proposes a novel extension of the Simplex architecture with model switching and model learning to achieve safe velocity regulation of self-driving vehicles in dynamic and unforeseen environments. To guarantee the reliability of autonomous vehicles, an gL1 adaptive controller that compensates for uncertainties and disturbances is employed by the Simplex architecture as a verified high-assurance controller (HAC) to tolerate concurrent software and physical failures. Meanwhile, the safe switching controller is incorporated into the HAC for safe velocity regulation in the dynamic (prepared) environments, through the integration of the traction control system and anti-lock braking system. Due to the high dependence of vehicle dynamics on the driving environments, the HAC leverages the finite-time model learning to timely learn and update the vehicle model for gL1 adaptive controller, when any deviation from the safety envelope or the uncertainty measurement threshold occurs in the unforeseen driving environments. With the integration of gL1 adaptive controller, safe switching controller and finite-time model learning, the vehicle's angular and longitudinal velocities can asymptotically track the provided references in the dynamic and unforeseen driving environments, while the wheel slips are restricted to safety envelopes to prevent slipping and sliding. Finally, the effectiveness of the proposed Simplex architecture for safe velocity regulation is validated by the AutoRally platform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2
JournalACM Transactions on Cyber-Physical Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 20 2023


  • Simplex
  • anti-lock braking system
  • gLadaptive controller
  • model learning
  • model switching
  • safe velocity regulation
  • traction control system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Control and Optimization
  • Artificial Intelligence


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