The text begins with an overview of concepts from system theory. New results are provided on feedback stabilization and smooth control of non-holonomic systems. Control design moves from open-loop steering control of an individual vehicle to cooperative control of multiple vehicles, a progression culminating in a decentralized control hierarchy requiring only local feedback information. Novel methods are presented: parameterization for collision avoidance and optimization in path planning; near-optimal control for tracking and regulation of non-holonomic chained systems and matrix-theoretical analysis of cooperativity. These methods generate solutions of guaranteed performance for problems of: optimal and collision-free path planning; near-optimal stabilization of non-holonomic systems; cooperative control of dynamic systems. Examples, simulations and comparative studies add zest to the fundamental issues, illustrate the technical approaches and verify the performance of the final control designs.