Study finds that 55.7 percent of all classifiable miles driven were platoonable, presenting the opportunity for significant fuel and emissions savings.

NREL provides a framework for a more rigorous platooning analysis that accounts for trucks proximity as well as speed.


Summary Information

Truck platooning is a near-term technology solution for reducing fuel consumption of class 8 vehicles during highway operation. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) completed a study that discussed the value and limitations of very large but low time-resolution data sets, and the fuel consumption reduction opportunities from large scale adoption of platooning technology for class 8 vehicles in the US based on telematics data.

NREL and Volvo Trucks North America analyzed a two-week period of Volvo Truck telematics data from over 57,000 unique vehicles, traveling over 210 million miles during the summer of 2016 that included a total of 11 million GPS waypoints. NREL chose this data as it was unlikely that fleet operators have access to high-resolution telematics data as the expense may not be justified by the business need. NREL analyzed the vehicle’s average speed and GPS data to determine distance and proximity to other vehicles and travel time.

The results presented in the study complimented previous studies performed by NREL and found that by using a minimum speed threshold of 50 mi/h, 55 percent to 65 percent of classifiable segments traveled were deemed platoonable. Additional key findings included:
  • 32 percent of trucks would account for 54 percent of the total platoonable miles if only trucks with platooning percentage larger than 70 percent were equipped with platooning technology, indicating targeted adoption may see high impact.
  • 71-80 percent of active trucks are travelling at platoonable speeds.
  • The share of platoonable vehicles for different hours of the day are relative flat, reaching a peak of 80 percent at 4:00 am and a minimum of 71 percent at 12:00 pm.
  • 55.7 percent of all classifiable miles driven were platoonable when taking partner availability into account.
When one platooning partner is available there are usually many more available partners with a mean of 10 partners and as such systems capable of more than two trucks in a platoon should be considered

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Exploring Telematics Big Data for Truck Platooning Opportunities

Author: Michael P. Lammert, Bruce Bugbee, Yi Hou, Andrea Mack, Matteo Muratori, Jacob Holden, and Adam Duran, Eric Swaney

Published By: SAE International

Source Date: 04/03/2018



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Benefit ID: 2018-01313