On-Track Measurement of Road Load Changes in Two Close-Following Vehicles: Methods and Results
As emerging automated vehicle technology is making advances in safety and reliability, engineers are also exploring improvements in energy efficiency with this new paradigm. Powertrain efficiency receives due attention, but also impactful is finding ways to reduce driving losses in coordinated-driving scenarios. Efforts focused on simulation to quantify road load improvements require a sufficient amount of background validation work to support them. This study uses a practical approach to directly quantify road load changes by testing the coordinated driving of two vehicles on a test track at various speeds (64, 88, 113 km/h) and vehicle time gaps (0.3 to 1.3 s). Axle torque sensors were used to directly measure the load required to maintain steady-state speeds while following a lead vehicle at various gap distances.