Investigating the Impacts of Truck Platooning on Transportation Infrastructure in the South-Central Region

Freight and the efficient movement of freight is a critical component to the economy of the southern U.S. – especially to states in the South-Central region (AR, LA, NM, OK, and TX). Several challenges exist in supporting a strong freight economy: (1) efficiency of freight movement muffled by an infrastructure system in need of repair, limited capacity, and severe congestion and (2) mitigating negative community impacts. Connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technologies offer potentially transformative societal impacts including significant mobility, safety, and environmental benefits. One CAV application of particularly interest to the freight industry is truck platooning. Benefits of truck platooning include energy savings from aerodynamic drag reduction, reduced highway congestion due to short following distances, and safety improvements from faster reaction times and automated support systems (i.e., truck platooning has great potential in addressing current challenges facing freight movement). However, the short following distances maintained between vehicles and more precise lane-keeping lead to a higher concentration of load being placed on the transportation infrastructure. It is unclear how these greater weight concentrations and new load configurations will impact the deterioration/damage to pavements. The main objectives of this study are: (1) through a series of modeling case studies located in the South-Central region, the operational and environmental (fuel savings/emissions) impacts of various truck platooning implementations, configurations, and assumptions will be quantified at both the corridor- and network-level, (2) impacts to the structural pavement resulting from these truck platooning implementations will be investigated and quantified using finite element modeling (FEM), and (3) a feasibility study for implementation will be performed comparing the (potential) operational and environmental (fuel savings/emissions) benefits of truck platooning with the (potential) costs associated with increased pavement loads. This will also be compared with an equivalent “base case” with human-driven trucks.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $365894
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Transportation Consortium of South-Central States (Tran-SET)

    Louisiana State University
    Baton Rouge, LA  United States  70803
  • Project Managers:

    Melson, Christopher

  • Performing Organizations:

    Louisiana State University and A&M College

    202 Himes Hall
    Baton Rouge, LA  United States  70803

    University of Texas at San Antonio

    One UTSA Circle
    San Antonio, TX  United States  78249

    Texas A&M University, College Station

    Zachry Department of Civil Engineering
    3136 TAMU
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3136
  • Principal Investigators:

    Melson, Christopher

    Dessouky, Samer

    Talebpour, Alireza

  • Start Date: 20190815
  • Expected Completion Date: 20210215
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01713214
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Consortium of South-Central States (Tran-SET)
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747106
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Aug 2 2019 6:41AM