Using Demanded Power and RDE Aggressiveness Metrics to Analyze the Impact of CACC Aggressiveness on Heavy Duty Platooning Power Consumption

Andrew Kotz, Jan Siefert, Evan Stegner, Philip Snitzer, Jacob Ward, David Bevly, Mark Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

5 Scopus Citations


Presently, a main mobility sector objective is to reduce its impact on the global greenhouse gas emissions. While there are many techniques being explored, a promising approach to improve fuel economy is to reduce the required energy by using slipstream effects. This study analyzes the demanded engine power and mechanical energy used by heavy-duty trucks during platooning and non-platooning operation to determine the aerodynamic benefits of the slipstream. A series of platooning tests utilizing class 8 semi-trucks platooning via Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC) are performed. Comparing the demanded engine power and mechanical energy used reveals the benefits of platooning on the aerodynamic drag while disregarding any potential negative side effects on the engine. However, energy savings were lower than expected in some cases. It was hypothesized that the CACC may have amplified transient platooning events relative to the individual truck baseline results, hampering the potential energy savings. Therefore, the impact of the controller on the observed driving style was analyzed in detail. In order to quantify the transient operational characteristics of the experimental trials, metrics from the European Real Driving Emissions (RDE) legislation were modified to serve as metrics of aggressiveness during platooning. The metrics (v apos)95 and Relative Positive Acceleration (RPA) were calculated for platooning and non-platooning runs. These results indicate that the CACC induces small acceleration events during platooning to retain the commanded longitudinal separation between vehicles. These small acceleration events increase following vehicle aggressiveness during platooning and prevent the following vehicles from obtaining maximum energy savings. Moreover, a correlation between the RDE metric (v apos)95 and energy savings is developed. Hence, this work establishes the ability of RDE metrics to assess CACC impacts on platoon energy savings.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 6 Apr 2021
EventSAE 2021 WCX Digital Summit - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: 13 Apr 202115 Apr 2021


ConferenceSAE 2021 WCX Digital Summit
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 SAE International. All rights reserved.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5400-79991

Other Report Number

  • SAE Technical Paper No. 2021-01-0069


  • aerodynamic drag
  • CACC
  • Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control
  • heavy duty trucks
  • platooning


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