Influences on Energy Savings of Heavy Trucks Using Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control

Michael Lammert, Brian McAuliffe, Xiao-Yun Lu, Steven Shladover, Marius-Dorin Surcel, Aravind Kailas

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

70 Scopus Citations


An integrated adaptive cruise control (ACC) and cooperative ACC (CACC) was implemented and tested on three heavy-duty tractor-trailer trucks on a closed test track. The first truck was always in ACC mode, and the followers were in CACC mode using wireless vehicle-vehicle communication to augment their radar sensor data to enable safe and accurate vehicle following at short gaps. The fuel consumption for each truck in the CACC string was measured using the SAE J1321 procedure while travelling at 65 mph and loaded to a gross weight of 65,000 lb, demonstrating the effects of: inter-vehicle gaps (ranging from 3.0 s or 87 m to 0.14 s or 4 m, covering a much wider range than previously reported tests), cut-in and cut-out maneuvers by other vehicles, speed variations, the use of mismatched vehicles (standard trailers mixed with aerodynamic trailers with boat tails and side skirts), and the presence of a passenger vehicle ahead of the platoon. The results showed that energy savings generally increased in a non-linear fashion as the gap was reduced. The middle truck saved the most fuel at gaps shorter than 12 m and the trailing truck saved the most at longer gaps, while lead truck saved the least at all gaps. The cut-in and cut-out maneuvers had only a marginal effect on fuel consumption even when repeated every two miles. The presence of passenger-vehicle traffic had a measurable impact. The fuel-consumption savings on the curves was less than on the straight sections.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages20
StatePublished - 2018
Event2018 SAE World Congress Experience, WCX 2018 - Detroit, United States
Duration: 10 Apr 201812 Apr 2018


Conference2018 SAE World Congress Experience, WCX 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 SAE International; National Renewable Energy Laboratory; National Research Council Canada.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5400-70868

Other Report Number

  • SAE Paper No. 2018-01-1181


  • adaptive cruise control (ACC)
  • cooperative ACC (CACC)
  • heavy-duty truck fuel economy
  • heavy-duty truck partial automation
  • heavy-duty truck platooning
  • vehicle control performance


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