Richard Fox, Antonio Garcia Jr. and Michael L. Nelson
Path planning for an autonomous vehicle can occur at two different times. First, path planning might occur at mission specification time when the vehicle’s initial path is determined and used to specify other mission factors. This task makes use of some model of the environment in planning a path that will avoid obstacles and hazardous areas. A second type of path planning might occur while the vehicle is underway to avoid unexpected or previously unknown obstacles and hazardous areas. This is path re-planning. This paper concentrates on path planning and path re-planning in both two-dimensional and three-dimensional environments as used in the STESCA general control architecture for autonomous vehicles.