In this paper, the three-dimensional (3D) path tracking control of an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) under the action of sea currents was researched. A novel reward function was proposed to improve learning ability and a disturbance observer was developed to observe the disturbance caused by currents. Based on existing models, the dynamic and kinematic models of the AUV were established. Deep Deterministic Policy Gradient, a deep reinforcement learning, was employed for designing the path tracking controller. Compared with the backstepping sliding mode controller, the controller proposed in this article showed excellent performance, at least in the particular study developed in this article. The improved reward function and the disturbance observer were also found to work well with improving path tracking performance. View Full-Text

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