Simulation Studies of Impact of Heavy-Duty Vehicle Platoons on Road Traffic and Fuel Consumption

Sammanfattning: The demand for road freight transport continues to grow with the growing economy, resulting in increased fossil fuel consumption and emissions. At the same time, the fossil fuel use needs to decrease substantially to counteract the ongoing global warming. One way to reduce fuel consumption is to utilize emerging intelligent transport system (ITS) technologies and introduce heavy-duty vehicle (HDV) platooning, i.e. HDVs driving with small inter-vehicle gaps enabled by the use of sensors and controllers. It is of importance for transport authorities and industries to investigate the effects of introducing HDV platooning. Previous studies have investigated the potential benefits, but the effects in real traffic, both for the platoons and for the surrounding vehicles, have barely been explored. To further utilize ITS and optimize the platoons, information about the traffic situation ahead can be used to optimize the vehicle trajectories for the platoons. Paper I presents a dynamic programming-based optimal speed control including information of the traffic situation ahead. The optimal control is applied to HDV platoons in a deceleration case and the potential fuel consumption reduction is evaluated by a microscopic traffic simulation study with HDV platoons driving in real traffic conditions. The effects for the surrounding traffic are also analysed. Paper II and Paper III present a simulation platform to assess the effects of HDV platooning in real traffic conditions. Through simulation studies, the potential fuel consumption reduction by adopting HDV platooning on a real highway stretch is evaluated, and the effects for the other vehicles in the network are investigated.