Truck Platooning Effects on Girder Bridges

Truck platooning is anticipated to become increasingly prominent in the near future (Trimble et al., 2018e). Most research and development efforts have been focused on traffic operations and vehicle control. The structural safety of bridges carrying increased load from truck platoons has not yet been thoroughly studied, but state departments of transportation (DOTs) will need to ensure that their structural assets will not be compromised before allowing platooning operations in their jurisdictions This project will enable the Nebraska DOT to keep pace with advancements in autonomous vehicles while also maintaining structural safety for girder bridges in their transportation network. Revisiting the reliability implications with reduced truck loading uncertainty could possibly justify allowing heavier vehicles than routinely allowed when justified by data sharing from trucking companies combined with effective automated enforcement strategies.