Truck Platooning is a promising new technology to reduce the fuel consumption by around 15% via the exploitation of a preceding and digitally connected truck’s slipstream. However, the cost-efficient coordination of such platoons under consideration of mandatory EU driving time restrictions turns out to be a highly complex task.
For this purpose, we provide a comprehensive literature review and formulate the exact EU-Truck Platooning Problem (EU-TPP) as an Integer Linear Program (ILP) which also features a hypothetical task-relieving effect for following drivers in a convoy. In order to increase the computational efficiency, we introduce an auxiliary constraint and two hierarchical planning-based matheuristic approaches: the Shortest Path Heuristic (SPH) and the Platoon Routing Heuristic (PRH).
Besides a qualitative sensitivity analysis, we perform an extensive numerical study to investigate the impact of different critical influence factors on platooning, being of major political and economic interest.
Our experiments with the EU-TPP suggest remarkable fuel cost savings of up to 10.83% without a 50% task relief, while its inclusion leads to additional personnel cost savings of up to even 31.86% at best with maximally 12 trucks to be coordinated in a recreated part of the European highway network. Moreover, we prove our matheuristics’ highly favorable character in terms of solution quality and processing time.
Keywords: autonomous transport; Truck Platooning; driving time and rest periods; cost-efficient routing & scheduling; computational efficiency.