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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Learning multiobjective rough terrain traversability

Wallin, Erik; Wiberg, Viktor; Vesterlund, Folke; Holmgren, Johan; Persson, Henrik J.; Servin, Martin


We present a method that uses high-resolution topography data of rough terrain, and ground vehicle simulation, to predict traversability. Traversability is expressed as three independent measures: the abil-ity to traverse the terrain at a target speed, energy consumption, and acceleration. The measures are con-tinuous and reflect different objectives for planning that go beyond binary classification. A deep neural network is trained to predict the traversability measures from the local heightmap and target speed. To produce training data, we use an articulated vehicle with wheeled bogie suspensions and procedurally generated terrains. We evaluate the model on laser-scanned forest terrains, previously unseen by the model. The model predicts traversability with an accuracy of 90%. Predictions rely on features from the high-dimensional terrain data that surpass local roughness and slope relative to the heading. Correlations show that the three traversability measures are complementary to each other. With an infer-ence speed 3000 times faster than the ground truth simulation and trivially parallelizable, the model is well suited for traversability analysis and optimal path planning over large areas. (c) 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of ISTVS. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (


Traversability; Rough terrain vehicle; Multibody simulation; Laser scan; Deep learning

Published in

Journal of Terramechanics
2022, Volume: 102, pages: 17-26