Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Adaptive Cruise Control:
Hybrid, Distributed, and Now Formally Verified

Sarah M. Loos, André Platzer, Ligia Nistor

June 2011


Keywords: Distributed car control, multi-agent systems, highway traffic safety, formal verification, distributed hybrid systems

Car safety measures can be most effective when the cars on a street coordinate their control actions using distributed cooperative control. While each car optimizes its navigation planning locally to ensure the driver reaches his destination, all cars coordinate their actions in a distributed way in order to minimize the risk of safety hazards and collisions. These systems control the physical aspects of car movement using cyber technologies like local and remote sensor data and distributed V2V and V2I communication. They are thus cyber-physical systems. In this paper, we consider a distributed car control system that is inspired by the ambitions of the California PATH project, the CICAS system, SAFESPOT and PReVENT initiatives. We develop a formal model of a distributed car control system in which every car is controlled by adaptive cruise control. One of the major technical difficulties is that faithful models of distributed car control have both distributed systems and hybrid systems dynamics. They form distributed hybrid systems, which makes them very challenging for verification. In a formal proof system, we verify that the control model satisfies its main safety objective and guarantees collision freedom for arbitrarily many cars driving on a street, even if new cars enter the lane from on-ramps or multi-lane streets. The system we present is in many ways one of the most complicated cyber-physical systems that has ever been fully verified formally.

28 pages

Return to: SCS Technical Report Collection
School of Computer Science

This page maintained by