Illinois Study Found Automated Truck Platooning Powered by an Artificial Intelligence Model Can Reduce Average Fuel Consumption by 10 Percent and Delivery Cost by 26.5 Percent.

Mathematical Models of Drag Force and Fuel Consumption Were Tested on a Simulated Three-Truck Platoon with Real Time Wind Data.

Date Posted

Artificial Intelligence for Optimal Truck Platooning: Impact on Autonomous Freight Delivery

Summary Information

Fully automated and connected-vehicle technologies can improve truck platoons for freight delivery by enabling vehicle-to vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, and thereby reduce fuel consumption and increase traffic efficiency. However, to achieve these benefits, a significant number of computational resources are required to obtain aerodynamic performance of vehicles under different scenarios. This study proposed a data-driven surrogate model to predict the wind drag force and fuel-consumption rate of truck platoons. To demonstrate the benefits of truck platooning, a 161-km (100-mi) corridor on I-57 highway in Illinois was selected to conduct fuel-consumption analysis and delivery-cost analysis for a platoon of three trucks using real wind data collected in March 2022 from the nearby weather stations.


The study used the pre-trained surrogate model to determine the optimal platooning configuration to minimize fuel consumption under different wind scenarios. The performances of four machine learning based surrogate models were evaluated based on their prediction accuracy for drag force of each truck and the average drag force of the truck platooning system. A fuel-consumption analysis and delivery-cost analysis were conducted. Using the real-time wind speed and direction data from two nearby weather stations, the study emulated the environmental conditions that affected the performance of the truck platoon.

Line-haul delivery cost for the truck-platoon system was assumed to include fuel consumption, operation cost and labor cost, and vehicle depreciation and overhead cost. The labor-cost rate and overhead-cost rate were assumed to be $60 per truck-hour and $25 per truck-hour, respectively. It was also assumed that a total of 1,000 parcels were delivered from the origin to the destination.


  • The results showed that the average fuel savings achieved can be as high as 10 percent, depending on the headway between the trucks.
  • The results also revealed that the freight delivery cost of the truck platoon was reduced from $0.83 per parcel to $0.61 per parcel (a 26.5 percent reduction) as compared with conventional line-haul delivery. 
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