A navigational control system directs an autonomous vehicle to travel along a floor from a first location to a destination within an environment, and includes a propulsion module having a processor that receives navigation control signals for directing the motion of the module and provides position signals. At least one reflective, encoded stripe is applied to the floor of the environment. If stripe detecting means, mounted to the module, detects the stripe, recognition signals are provided. Ranging means mounted to the module measures the range between the vehicle and any object within a predetermined distance of the vehicle. A host computer determine an initial path for the vehicle to follow in order to reach the destination; provides the navigation control signals to the processor; receives data from the processor for determining an estimated dead-reckoning position of the vehicle; and receives the recognition signals for directing the vehicle to follow the stripe if any of the coordinates of the stripe are coincident with the coordinates of the initial path. The position estimation of the vehicle is updated by the host computer as the vehicles travels along the initial path. The updated position is functionally related to the coordinates of the detected region of the stripe and to the estimated dead-reckoning position. If the ranging means measures an obstruction blocking the initial path, the module is directed to avoid the obstruction.