LSU CEE Professor Researches Autonomous Truck Platooning

August 17, 2022 

BATON ROUGE, LA – So many issues have modified in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, one being
transportation. Through the previous two years, the necessity for truck drivers and provides
has ramped up, main one LSU professor to analysis enhancements to the provision chain
whereas making visitors security a precedence utilizing autonomous automobiles.

Because of a $183,000 grant from the Louisiana Board of Regents, Hany Hassan, an assistant
professor in transportation engineering within the LSU Division of Civil and Environmental
Engineering, is finding out the advantages of truck platooning on U.S. highways. Truck
platooning is when vans journey collectively linked by a pc system, which communicates
with the vans to align velocity, acceleration, and braking. Drivers steer, watch the
system, and intervene when wanted.

“We expect this know-how to assist the freight motion,” Hassan stated. “The
essential good thing about this venture is attempting to determine what would be the greatest platoon dimension—5
or six vans—and see if the vans ought to keep in a single lane or use two. Figuring out
the optimum platoon dimension and configuration is necessary for the freight sector to
maximize its advantages on highways. This can be carried out whereas considering
driving behaviors of different conventional automobiles that may share the highway with autonomous
truck platooning.”

In line with the U.S. Division of Transportation Federal Freeway Administration,
platooning reduces air drag, improves gasoline financial system, and likewise has the potential to
enhance automobile capability on the highways, notably alongside freight corridors. The
advantages of truck platooning deployment and operations are improved gasoline financial savings and
lowered greenhouse fuel emissions; improved throughput, mobility, and highway effectivity;
and lowered working prices for the business freight business.

Hassan says that whereas this new mode of visitors know-how is extremely helpful,
it additionally comes with its challenges.

“Think about you’re driving and there’s a lengthy platooning truck beside you,” he stated.
“It is advisable to take the following exit. How do you recover from? This is among the situations
we’re going to check.”

Hassan and his Ph.D. scholar Mohamed Mohamed will put truck platooning to the check
in 3 ways. First, they may use a microsimulation device referred to as VISSIM that may
create any highway surroundings and simulate any sort of car that may transfer on the
highway community. The software program will give measurements to guage the affect of platooning.
Secondly, they may use the driving simulator lab in LSU’s Patrick F. Taylor Corridor,
which can enable them to check driver habits.

“Drivers within the driving simulation lab can be informed which vans are platooning based mostly
on their coloration,” Hassan stated. “We need to see if drivers velocity as much as go the platoon
and even go between the vans. We need to know if platooning vans will trigger extra
accidents or cut back the variety of accidents.”

Hassan and Mohamed’s closing testing technique can be within the type of a survey given to
drivers from all around the nation, asking questions associated to the venture.

Whereas truck drivers may be afraid truck platooning might put them out of a job,
Hassan assures that this gained’t occur.

“The venture isn’t meant to remove jobs from truck drivers however enhance visitors
security, since many truck drivers do get drained and go to sleep whereas behind the wheel,”
he stated. “It would take a long time earlier than we attain 100% automation. Within the close to future,
nevertheless, we are going to see a mixture of autonomous automobiles and actual drivers.”

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