Effects of truck platooning at motorway on-ramps

As automated vehicles on public roads become more common, road authorities have to consider action to facilitate their introduction. A main challenge lies in the largely unknown effects of the introduction of automated vehicles on mixed (conventional and automated) traffic. Given the financial advantages for carriers, an area where this challenge is especially urgent is truck platooning. Truck platooning is defined as two or more trucks driving at reduced inter-vehicle gaps (typically less than one second) enabled by wireless vehicle-to-vehicle communication and of which both longitudinal and lateral control are automated.

Motorways will be the first road type where automated vehicles are introduced. However, the motorway merging behaviour of conventional vehicles in the presence of truck platoons is still largely unknown. Similarly, the desired behaviour of a truck platoon in such a
situation is also still largely unknown. Research to identify and quantify the traffic performance and safety effects of truck platooning on the motorway at an on-ramp before deployment in practice is thus necessary. This is done by modelling driving behaviour of both truck platoons and conventional vehicles in mixed traffic on the motorway. Knowledge about this driving behaviour is obtained and translated into algorithms that are used in a traffic simulation model.

The goal of this research is to determine what the traffic performance and safety effects of truck platooning on the motorway are in the situation of conventional vehicles merging at an on-ramp for different platooning strategies and platoon configurations.

Research Topic: