Open Access

An Investigation of the Influence of Close-Proximity Traffic on the Aerodynamic Drag Experienced by Tractor-Trailer Combinations

Journal Article
ISSN: 2641-9637, e-ISSN: 2641-9645
Published April 02, 2019 by SAE International in United States
An Investigation of the Influence of Close-Proximity Traffic on the Aerodynamic Drag Experienced by Tractor-Trailer Combinations
Citation: McAuliffe, B. and Ahmadi-Baloutaki, M., "An Investigation of the Influence of Close-Proximity Traffic on the Aerodynamic Drag Experienced by Tractor-Trailer Combinations," SAE Int. J. Adv. & Curr. Prac. in Mobility 1(3):1251-1264, 2019,
Language: English


  1. Roberts, J., Mihelic, R., Roeth, M. and Rondini, D. “Confidence Report on Two-Truck Platooning,” Technical Report, North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE), 2016.
  2. Marcu, B. and Browand, F. , “Aerodynamic Forces Experienced by a 3-Vehicle Platoon in a Crosswind,” SAE Technical Paper 1999-01-1324 , 1999, doi:10.4271/1999-01-1324.
  3. Watkins, S. and Vino, G. , “The Effect of Vehicle Spacing on the Aerodynamics of a Representative Car Shape,” Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics 96:1232-1239, 2008.
  4. Humphreys, H.L. and Bevly, D. , “Computational Fluid Dynamic Analysis of a Generic 2 Truck Platoon,” SAE Technical Paper 2016-01-8008 , 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-8008.
  5. Davila, A., Aramburu, E., and Freixas, A. , “Making the Best Out of Aerodynamics: Platoons,” SAE Technical Paper 2013-01-0767 , 2013, doi:10.4271/2013-01-0767.
  6. Lammert, M.P., Duran, A., Diez, J., Burton, K. et al. , “Effect of Platooning on Fuel Consumption of Class 8 Vehicles Over a Range of Speeds, Following Distances, and Mass,” SAE Int. J. Commer. Veh. 7(2):626-639, 2014, doi:10.4271/2014-01-2438(2014-01-2438).
  7. Smith, J., Mihelic, R., Gifford, B., and Ellis, M. , “Aerodynamic Impact of Tractor-Trailer in Drafting Configuration,” SAE Int. J. Commer. Veh. 7(2):619-625, 2014, doi:10.4271/2014-01-2436(2014-01-2436).
  8. Ellis, M., Gargoloff, J.I., and Sengupta, R. , “Aerodynamic Drag and Engine Cooling Effects on Class 8 Trucks in Platooning Configurations,” SAE Int. J. Commer. Veh. 8(2):732-739, 2015, doi:10.4271/2015-01-2896(2015-01-2896).
  9. McAuliffe, B.R., Lammert, M., Lu, X., Shladover, S. et al. , “Influences on Energy Savings of Heavy Trucks Using Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control,” SAE Technical Paper 2018-01-1181 , 2018, doi:10.4271/2018-01-1181.
  10. McAuliffe, B.R. and Ahmadi-Baloutaki, M. , “A Wind-Tunnel Investigation of the Influence of Separation Distance, Lateral Stagger, and Trailer Configuration on the Drag-Reduction Potential of a Two-Truck Platoon,” SAE Int. J. Commer. Veh. 11(2):125-150, 2018, doi:10.4271/02-11-02-0011.
  11. Eskridge, R.E. and Hunt, J.C.R. , “Highway Modeling. Part I: Prediction of Velocity and Turbulence Fields in the Wake of Vehicles,” Journal of Applied Meteorology 16(12):2821-2836, 1979.
  12. Eskridge, R.E. and Thompson, R.S. , “Experimental and Theoretical Study of the Wake of a Block-Shaped Vehicle in a Shear-Free Boundary Flow,” Atmospheric Environment 18(4):387-400, 1982.
  13. Eskridge, R.E. and Rao, S.T. , “Measurement and Prediction of Traffic-Induced Turbulence and Velocity Fields near Roadways,” Journal of Climate and Applied Meteorology 22:1431-1443, 1983.
  14. Baker, C.J. , “Flow and Dispersion in Ground Vehicle Wakes,” Journal of Fluids and Structures 15:1031-1060, 2001.
  15. Tsuei, L. and Savas, O. , “Transient Aerodynamics of Vehicle Platoons during In-Line Oscillations,” Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics 89:1085-1111, 2001.
  16. Howell, J., Garry, K., and Holt, J. , “The Aerodynamics of a Small Car Overtaking a Truck,” SAE Technical Paper 2014-01-0604 , 2014, doi:10.4271/2014-01-0604.
  17. Shimizu, K., Nakashima, T., Takenori Hiraoka, Y.N., and Nouzawa, T. , “Investigation of Increase in Aerodynamic Drag Caused by a Passing Vehicle,” SAE Paper 2018-01-0719 , 2018, doi:10.4271/2018-01-0719.
  18. Vegendla, P., Sofu, T., Saha, R., Kumar, M.M. et al. , “Investigation of Aerodynamic Influence on Truck Platooning,” SAE Technical Paper 2015-01-2895 , 2015, doi:10.4271/2015-01-2895.
  19. National Research Council Canada , “2 m x 3 m Wind Tunnel,”, accessed May 2016.
  20. McAuliffe, B.R., Belluz, L., and Belzile, M. , “Measurement of the On-Road Turbulence Environment Experienced by Heavy Duty Vehicles,” SAE Int. J. Commer. Veh. 7(2):685-702, 2014, doi:10.4271/2014-01-2451.
  21. McAuliffe, B.R. and D’Auteuil, A. , “A System for Simulating Road-Representative Atmospheric Turbulence for Ground Vehicles in a Large Wind Tunnel,” SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars - Mech. Syst. 9(2):817-830, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-1624.
  22. JR3 Inc. , “JR3 Multi-Axis Force/Torque Sensor Technical Specifications - Model 45E15A4 400N,”, accessed Jan. 2017.
  23. Hooper, J.D. and Musgrove, A.R. , “Reynolds Stress, Mean Velocity, and Dynamic Static Pressure Measurements by a Four-Hole Pressure Probe,” Exp. Therm. Fluid Sci. 15:375-383, 1997.
  24. Cooper, K.R. , “The Effect of Front-Edge Rounding and Rear-Edge Shaping on the Aerodynamic Drag of Bluff Vehicles in Ground Proximity,” SAE Technical Paper 850288 , 1985, doi:10.4271/850288.
  25. Turbulent Flow Instrumentation Pty Ltd. , “Cobra Probe,” Co-braProbe/CobraProbe.php, accessed Oct. 2017.
  26. Brown, K.K., Coleman, H.W., Steele, W.G., and Taylor, R.P. , “Evaluation of Correlated Bias Approximations in Experimental Uncertainty Analysis,” AIAA Journal 34(5):1013-1018, 1996.
  27. SAE J1252 , “SAE Wind Tunnel Test Procedure for Trucks and Busses,” Surface Vehicle Recommended Practice J1252, 2012.
  28. Buckley, F.J., Marks, C., and Walston, W.J. , “Study of Aerodynamic Methods for Improving Truck Fuel Economy,” Technical Report PB-80-101272, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Maryland University, College Park, 1978.

Cited By