This paper addresses the control law design of a preview steering autopilot for a four-wheel-steering vehicle to perform automatic lane tracking. In the concept, an on-board computer vision system is used in lieu of the driver’s vision to track the roadway. The steering autopilot design is formulated as an optimal, discrete-time preview path tracking problem under the “perfect measurement” assumption. Simulation results indicate that the tracking performance of the steering autopilot was improved by preview relative to that calculated for an autopilot without preview. These results also indicate the existence of an effective preview time with which almost all the benefits of previewing future information can be obtained. This effective preview time is about three times the reciprocal of the autopilot’s bandwidth. Our study also indicates that preview steering autopilots can tolerate the use of actuators with a lower bandwidth than those designed without preview information.

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