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Truck Platooning at TTI

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What is Truck Platooning?
Level 2 truck platooning extends radar and vehicle-to-vehicle, communications-based, cooperative-adaptive cruise control using precise automated lateral and longitudinal vehicle control to maintain a tight formation of vehicles with short following distances. A manually driven truck leads a platoon, allowing the driver(s) of the following truck(s) to disengage from driving tasks and monitor system performance. Level 1 truck platooning has demonstrated the potential for significant fuel savings, enhanced mobility and associated emissions reductions from platooning vehicles. Level 2 automation may increase these benefits while reducing driver workload and increasing safety.

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Truck Platooning at TTI

  1. 1. Saving Lives, Time and Resources tti.tamu.edu Why Truck Platooning? Besides driver compensation, the largest oper- ating expense for a line-haul truck is fuel. At 65 miles per hour, each truck expends about 65percentofitsfuelconsumptiontoovercome aerodynamicdrag.Currently,manylarge-and small-fleetoperatorsusevarioustechniquesand technologies to gain 1 to 2 percent fuel effi- ciency.Researchsuggeststhattruckplatooning can provide 5–20 percent fuel savings, as well asofferotherbenefits(e.g.,emissionreductions, additionalvehiclesafetyfeaturesandincreased highway throughput). COMMERCIAL TRUCK PLATOONING: LEVEL 2 AUTOMATION (PHASE 1) Project Partnerships and Focus The research team represents a public-private partnership (PPP) of government agencies, national labs, truck manufacturers and equip- ment suppliers, many of which have com- mitted in-kind resources such as equipment, engineeringservices,intellectualpropertyand funding. The project focuses on the feasibility ofdeployingtwo-vehicletruckplatoonsutiliz- ing Level 2 automation on specific corridors in Texas within 5 to 10 years. What is Truck Platooning? Level 2 truck platooning extends radar and vehicle-to-vehicle, communications-based, cooperative- adaptive cruise control using precise automated lateral and longitudinal vehicle control to maintain a tight formation of vehicles with short following distances. A manually driven truck leads a platoon, allowing the driver(s) of the following truck(s) to disengage from driving tasks and monitor system performance. Level 1 truck platooning has demonstrated the potential for significant fuel savings, enhanced mobility and associated emissions reductions from platooning vehicles. Level 2 automation may increase these benefits while reducing driver workload and increasing safety. TheTexasDepartmentofTransportation(TxDOT)isfundingacomprehensivetruck platooning demonstration in Texas. This project represents a proactive effort in assessing innovative operational strategies for the Texas freight network. TRUCK PLATOONING BENEFITS SAFETY. By reducing the number of drivers making decisions, the incidence of driver error decreases, thus increasing roadway safety for others. ECONOMICAL. Projected fuel savings of around 12 percent can drive transportation costs down, and that results in reduced prices at the grocery store. ENVIRONMENTAL. Withreduceddrag onbothtrucks,fuel efficiencyincreases, bringingdowncarbonmonoxide andotherpollutants. MOBILITY. At30-50percentmarket penetrationrateand withalltrucksforming two-truckplatoons,throughput increasesby6-8percentinnearly congestedconditions.
  2. 2. Project Overview With funding from TxDOT’s innovative research program and PPPs, the Texas A&M TransportationInstitute(TTI)createdafirst- of-its-kind comprehensive freight platooning demonstration in Texas. Building upon other platooning research, the TTI team will strive to demonstrate the potential safety and mobility benefits, fuel savings, and emission reductionspossiblebyextendingvehicleauto- mation to freight truck platoons. The project is planned in three phases: • Phase1(completed):Conductafeasibil- ity planning study and proof-of-concept demonstration. • Phase2(ongoing):Developtheconcept of operations and requirements for the design and vehicle system; enhance system functionality and reliability; and developthePhase3implementationplan and deployment guidance. • Phase3(planned):Deployacommercial truck-platooning application in Texas. Project Outcome In Phase 1, the TTI team documented les- sons learned from past platooning projects; identified potential regulatory or legislative roadblocks to introducing platooning into commercial fleet operations; and explored potential implementation scenarios given the existing infrastructure and operational environment.OnJuly22,2016,theTTIteam successfullydemonstratedaproof-of-concept of the platooning technology. BegunNovember1,2016,Phase2willtransi- tion the proof-of-concept to a plan for safely, reliablydeployingplatooningonacommercial operator’s fleet in Phase 3. To demonstrate real-world viability, the TTI-led team will test the system in one or more field pilot dem- onstrations and/or in controlled, open-road scenarios. Researchers will assess the impact of platooning on TxDOT’s infrastructure and operations by researching critical issues likegeometricand trafficoperationsimpacts, whileprovidingnecessaryoutreachandtrain- ingrelatedtotruckplatooning.Besidesdraft- To solve transportation problems through research, to transfer technology and to develop diverse human resources to meet the transportation challenges of tomorrow. TTI’s Mission TTI1761.0417 Michael Lukuc Principal Investigator Program Manager, Connected and Automated Transportation System Reliability Division Texas A&M Transportation Institute College Station, TX 77843-3135 (979) 845-5239 m-lukuc@tti.tamu.edu http://tti.tamu.edu Beverly Kuhn, Ph.D., P.E. Co-Principal Investigator Division Head, System Reliability Division Texas A&M Transportation Institute College Station, TX 77843-3135 (979) 862-3558 b-kuhn@tti.tamu.edu http://tti.tamu.edu Contacts The Texas A&M Transportation Institute, established in 1950, seeks solutions to the problems and chal- lenges facing all modes of transpor- tation — surface, air, pipeline, water and rail. The Institute works with nearly 200 sponsors in the United States and abroad at all levels of government and in the private sector and is recognized as one of the finest higher-education-affiliated transpor- tation research agencies in the nation. TTI has saved the state and nation billions of dollars through strategies and products developed through its research program. TTI research has a proven impact — resulting in lives, time and resources saved. About TTI ing a Phase 3 deployment plan, the team will also develop near-term guidance for TxDOT and other stakeholders to prepare Texas for deploying truck platooning on key facilities across the TxDOT freight network.

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