Introduction to Autonomous Trucking and Platooning Technology

Vehicle automation and intelligent transportation systems will be the cornerstones of sustainable smart cities of the future. People movers seem to be at the heart of technology development, field trials and on-road testing, and strategic business partnerships when it comes to connectivity and automated driving. Majority of the focus has been on unmanned operation and door-to-door service in urban environments and not on highways. Highways are relatively simpler to handle from an engineering stand-point, but vehicles typically operate at higher speeds, so the cost of accidents is worse. This is very applicable for Class 8 trucks that are hauling loads (i.e., heavy), big, and fast. At the same time, most of the truck maneuvering, especially on highway is pretty straightforward (i.e., maintaining a highway lane, usually the slowest one, with limited lane change maneuvers). It is also easy to contemplate how automating buses (where the routes are fixed) or construction equipment (in confided areas) make sense from a safety and economics point-of-view. This leads to the “Heavy metal first” hypothesis, where we explore why automation in the heavy-duty sector and industrial machines may happen sooner.

Some truck OEMs and technology companies have been exploring truck automation. While some have explored concepts such as truck platooning (automated driving with a human in the cab), others have been testing fully autonomous trucks in customer operations. This course is intended to cover the basics of connected automation and provide a ringside view of everything happening in the area of truck automation with special focus on platooning including, but not limited to technology development, field trials, opportunities, and challenges facing the wide scale deployment of such systems.

What Will You Learn

By attending this seminar, you will be able to:
  • Recognize application scenarios for platooning to trucks and buses
  • Appreciate the synergy between connectivity and automated driving systems
  • Gain a solid understanding of the relationship between the different levels of vehicle automation
  • Develop the ability to appreciate the impacts of automation on existing business operations
  • Identify the complications with safely introducing automation on public roads

Is This Course For You

The course is designed for Traffic Engineers, Transportation Engineering Professionals, Supply Chain and Logistics Professionals, Urban and Regional Planners, Truckers, Carriers and Fleet Operators, Regional Transportation Planning Agencies, Highway Operators, Infrastructure Owner/Operators, Port Authorities, Research Engineers, Research Manages, Innovation Managers, R&D Engineers, Product Managers.

Materials Provided

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Course Requirements

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  • Introduction to connected automation - (1.25 hours)
    • Levels of automation (review SAE and NHTSA levels of automation along with other industry-centric definitions)
    • Connectivity (review DSRC, Wi-Fi, and 5G for vehicular safety applications)
    • Benefits (focus on automated driving with and without communication with other vehicles and/or infrastructure)
  • Automation in trucking - (3.75 hours)
    • Review of commercial active safety systems in trucks (.5 hours)
    • Truck platooning (Lower level of automation) (2 hours)
      • Basics of platooning (review the physics behind platooning and different types of platooning)
      • Platooning efforts around the world (ringside view of the different demonstrators and customer field trials)
      • Fuel consumption analyses (review of the energy savings from truck platooning)
    • Self-driving trucks (Higher level of automation) (1.25 hours)
      • Recent field trials and deployments (review automotive OEMs and startups developing L4/L5 technology)
  • Opportunities and challenges (1.5 hours)
    • Automation in the heavy-duty sector (review technology introduction in buses, construction equipment, boats, etc.)
    • First impressions from automation in customer operations (e.g., enhanced productivity, perceived safety benefits, etc.)
    • Review of policy and regulatory landscapes
      • Truck platooning
      • Self-driving trucks