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Auburn engineers collaborate with industry partners on truck platooning project

Published: Dec 12, 2013 10:00:00 AM
Media Contact: Morgan Stashick, stashml@auburn.edu, 334-844-3591

David Bevly, Albert J. Smith Jr. professor in Auburn University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, is leading a team of researchers on a Federal Highway Administration project to test truck platooning, with the goal of saving fuel and decreasing traffic congestion. The research will take place on the 1.7-mile track at Auburn’s National Center for Asphalt Technology.

The researchers will investigate partial automation – including throttle and braking systems – for two-truck platooning by integrating vehicle-to-vehicle communications and adaptive cruise control (ACC). Combining the communications system with ACC enables the following truck to travel at a close, yet safe, distance to the truck ahead. The technology, called cooperative adaptive cruise control, uses radar for longitudinal sensing, as well as dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) to allow vehicle-to-vehicle communication. Trucking fleets will benefit from this system by reducing collision-related expenses, fuel costs and emissions.

The Auburn team includes Richard Bishop, consultant responsible for organizing the research team; Alvin Lim, associate professor of computer science and software engineering; Chase Murray and Richard Sesek, assistant professors of industrial and systems engineering; Andrew Shelton, assistant professor of aerospace engineering; and Rod Turochy, associate professor of civil engineering. Project partners are the American Transportation Research Institute, the research arm of the American Trucking Association; Meritor Wabco, a leading supplier of braking and safety systems; Peloton Technology, the creator of a system combining radar and DSRC communications; and truck manufacturer Peterbilt Motors Company.