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With automated and cooperative driving making its breakthrough, and related systems in fast development, their future influence and impact on roads and traffic may be extensive. Truck platooning is such an application that relies on the development of Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC) and is said to be practice ready. While the main advantages of truck platooning lie in emission and energy reduction, claims are also being made for the influence on traffic flow. In this paper, we pose hypotheses based on some of the main claims. We also attempt to substantiate and give quantitative proof of the potential effects of truck platooning on traffic flow performance. The simulation model LMRS-IDM+ is extended to encompass the main influencing dynamics related to potential effects of truck platooning, based on empirical findings. The effects of truck platooning were tested for the influence of traffic states, truck gap settings, platoon sizes, and the share of equipped trucks. This resulted in outcomes regarding the total traffic performance, the performance of traffic at ramps, and the ability of a platoon to remain platooning as part of a case experiment performed on a part of the Trans-European ITS Corridor. The results showed that truck platooning may have a small negative effect on the total non-saturated traffic flow, however with a much larger negative effect on saturated traffic flow. However, drivers may be reluctant to platoon in saturated traffic in any case. The ability of inflowing traffic to merge at on-ramps was found to be affected by truck platoons, with platoon disengagements occurring under various conditions. The applied gap settings for platooning trucks did not significantly affect the merge time, while a higher gap did lead to a higher number of disengagements. The ability of trucks to platoon was positively affected by a greater percentage of equipped trucks and by larger platoon sizes. Shorter gap times also slightly improved the ability of trucks to remain in platooning formation. Finally, recommendations are given to improve platoon strategies and for policymakers to only allow truck platooning outside of busy (near-) saturated traffic, even though drivers may be reluctant to use the system in these conditions. Also, recommendations are made to investigate potential differences in the effects between the European and American contexts for truck-platooning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalTransportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Traffic flow, Traffic flow simulation, Truck platooning, Vehicle automation

ID: 54050591