In the last years, the increase of the fuel price and the need to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions have triggered the research on lowering the fuel consumption within the transport sector. The research not only involves the development of more efficient engines but also the exploration of new transportation paradigms. One promising approach is to create vehicle platoons, i.e. convoys of vehicles driving close to each other. Vehicles driving close behind benefit from the reduction of the air drag and hence their overall fuel consumptions are reduced.
This work focuses on studying platoons of heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs). More specifically, the work analyzes real position data of an HDV fleet from one manufacturer. The objective is to determine the potentials to reduce the fuel consumption of the fleet through platoon formations, using low sampled GPS traces obtained from the fleet management system. Map matching and path inference algorithms have been developed to reconstruct the path of the vehicles on a given road network.
The reconstructed paths are used to analyze the vehicles’ positions and inter-vehicle distances. Results show that the vehicles are widely spread. The average distance to the closest vehicle is greater than 20km, which limits the platoon opportunities. Although with limited platoon opportunities, potential fuel savings up to 0.14% of the whole fleet’s consumption have been obtained. Results suggest that fuel savings can be largely improved if the density of vehicles in the road network is increased.
2014. , 66 p.