OPTIMIZATION OF VEHICLE DYNAMICS FOR ENHANCED CLASS 8 TRUCK PLATOONING
thesisposted on 16.12.2020, 14:45 by Brady Black
The heavy duty transportation sector is projected to grow in the coming decades. Increasing the fuel economy of class 8 vehicles would simultaneously decrease CO2 emissions and decrease the annual fuel expenditures that account for nearly a quarter of cargo companies' annual budgets. Most technology that has aimed to do this has primarily been focused on either improvements in engine efficiency or reduction of aerodynamic drag. This thesis addresses a somewhat different approach: the optimization of vehicle dynamics in order to realize fuel savings.
Through partnerships with Peloton Technology and Cummins, tests and simulations were conducted on corridors with grades up to 5% that indicate fuel savings of up to 14.4% can be achieved through the combination of three strategies: two-truck platooning, long-horizon predictive cruise control (LHPCC), and simultaneous shifting. Two-truck platooning is the act of drafting a rear truck behind a front truck. It has been shown that this not only reduces the drag of the follow vehicle, but also that of the lead vehicle. LHPCC is an optimization of the lead truck's velocity over a given corridor to get "from point A to point B" in the most efficient way possible whilst doing so with a trip time constraint. Last is the use of simultaneous shifting, which allows the follow vehicle to maintain the proper platoon gap distance behind
the lead truck.