Impact of Lateral Alignment on the Energy Savings of a Truck Platoon 2020-01-0594
A truck platooning system was tested on two heavy-duty tractor-trailer trucks on a closed test track to investigate the sensitivity of manual lateral control and intentional lateral offsets over a range of inter-vehicle spacing. The fuel consumption for both trucks in the platoon was measured using the SAE J1321 gravimetric procedure while travelling at 65 mph and loaded to a gross weight of 65,000 lb and in addition a calibrated SAE J1939 instantaneous fuel rate was calculated to serve as proxies for additional analyses. The testing campaign demonstrated the effects of: inter-vehicle gaps, following vehicle lateral offsets, following vehicle longitudinal and lateral control impacts, NOx emission impacts of platooning and cooling air flow impacts of platooning. The new results are compared to past truck platooning studies to reinforce the value of the new information. The results showed that energy savings generally increased in a non-linear fashion as the gap was reduced. The impacts of different following-truck lateral offsets had a measurable impact and the value of lateral control evaluated. The fuel-consumption savings on the curves was less than on the straight sections and the impact of lateral offset was different in curves vs straight track sections as well. Impacts and possible uses of lateral offset for improved cooling are discussed.
Michael P. Lammert, Brian McAuliffe, Patrick Smith, Arash Raeesi, Mark Hoffman, David Bevly
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, National Research Council Canada, Auburn University