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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-20-071    Date:  June 2021
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-20-071
Date: June 2021


FHWA Research and Technology Evaluation: Truck Platooning

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The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Research and Technology (R&T) Evaluation Program seeks to assess and communicate the benefits of FHWA's R&T efforts; ensure that the organization is expending public resources efficiently and effectively; and build evidence to shape and improve policymaking. FHWA partners with State transportation departments, local agencies, industries, and academia to conduct research on issues of national significance and accelerate adoption and deployment of promising research products.

This report examines how FHWA's investment in truck-platooning research affected truck-platooning knowledge, the availability and quality of such research, and the deployment of truck-platooning technology. The findings of this report should be of interest to engineers, practitioners, researchers, and decision makers involved in the research, design, performance, and deployment of truck-platooning technology.

Shana V. Baker
Director, Office of Corporate Research,
Technology, and Innovation Management


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document. Such mentions are for informational purposes only and are not intended to reflect a preference, approval, or endorsement of any one product or entity.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.


Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.


2. Government Accession No.


3 Recipient's Catalog No.


4. Title and Subtitle

FHWA Research and Technology Evaluation: Truck Platooning

5. Report Date

June 2021

6. Performing Organization Code

OST-R V-321

7. Author(s)

Christina Foreman (ORCID: 0000-0002-0648-5622),
Matthew Keen (ORCID: 0000-0002-3032-9435),
Margaret Petrella, Sarah Plotnick

8. Performing Organization Report No.


9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Volpe National Transportation Systems Center
55 Broadway
Cambridge, MA 02142

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)


11. Contract or Grant No.


12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Office of Corporate Research, Technology, and InnovationManagement
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Final Report; 1993–2018

14. Sponsoring Agency Code


15. Supplementary Notes

The Research and Technology Program Manager and Contracting Officer's Representative for this reportwas John Moulden (HRTM-10).

16. Abstract

This report assesses how FHWA's investment in truck-platooning research affected truck platooning knowledge, the availability and quality of data, and the deployment of truck platooning technology. The research projects reviewed in this report are the "Partial Automation for Truck Platooning" (PATP) and "Driver-Assistive Truck Platooning" (DATP). The focus of the PATP and DATP projects was to decrease the costs of freight travel by improving fuel efficiency and highway mobility and allowing long-haul trucks to travel together as efficiently as possible. Although it was difficult to measure the effects of specific FHWA activities, the Research and Technology Evaluation project team found the research output from PATP and DATP addressed previously identified research gaps, influenced stakeholders' overall technology awareness and knowledge of truck-platooning technology, and led the way for follow-on research. All interviewees agreed the benefits outweighed the costs and all but one—who was unsure—had a positive impression of qualitative return on investment. Having project partners commit to cost sharing showed potential payback for project partners, while research output from the PATP and DATP projects showed that truck platooning was a viable option to help increase fuel efficiency among two- and three-truck platoons.

17. Key Words

Truck platooning, automated vehicle, demonstrations, partial automation, driver assistive

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.

19. Security Classification
(of this report)


20. Security Classification
(of this page)


21. No. of Pages


22. Price


Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed page authorized




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