car movement and steering AI algorithms

what are the algorithms for driving a car in a track or a city. we need track ai for now. we want to know the name of the algorithms and go and read them. if you know a good book/paper, please tell us. we know how to use waypoints but we need steering and other algorithms to prevent cars from colliding and other stupid stuff. - this one was required reading at uni

nonholonomic motion planning is a big topic which is why most games have dodgy car movement (like turning on the spot) Most of the time you can get away with A* coupled with corner avoidance, having 2 detection areas on the left and the right to adjust movement away from obstacles.

That doesn't really resolve 3 point turns though which is another pain to think about.

There was an excellent talk on this topic by Paolo Maninetti at the AIGameDev conference, where he described how they combine various techniques to achieve realistic behavior. The slides are available on the AIGameDev site (and eventually the video will be too). Even though they are currently available only for Premium members, you might want to inquire on if they will be included in the upcoming Plus section.

You might want to look at UnitySteer, which provides a component-oriented approach to steering behaviors. I originally based it on OpenSteer, but it has changed significantly since then (do note the current version is Unity 3 only).