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Implications of Truck Platoons for Roadside Hardware and Vehicle Safety
Platooning is an extension of cooperative adaptive cruise control and forward collision avoidance technology, which provides automated lateral and longitudinal vehicle control to maintain short following distances and tight formation. The capacity and adequacy of existing roadside safety hardware deployed at strategic locations may not be sufficient to resist potential impact from an errant fleet of multiple trucks platooning at high speed. It is unknown how these impacting trucks might interact with roadside safety barriers after leaving their platoon and what the occupant risks associated with such impacts may be. This research identifies and prioritizes the critical Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware TL5 roadside safety devices for truck platooning impact assessment in order to understand the associated roadside and occupant risks and hazards. Finite element models of the trucks and roadside safety devices are examined using multiple computer simulations for various scenarios. Occupants injury risks during truck collision simulations are assessed using dummy and human finite element models. The results and implications can provide a better understanding of whether any roadside safety device improvements and/or platooning constraint modifications will be necessary before implementing truck platooning.