Safe-D: Safety through Disruption

Implications of Truck Platoons for Roadside and Vehicle Safety Hardware


Platooning is an extension of Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC) that realizes automated lateral and longitudinal vehicle control while moving in tight formation with short following distances. It is unknown whether the capacity and adequacy of existing roadside safety hardware deployed at strategic locations is sufficient to resist a potential impact from a fleet of multiple truck platooning at high speed, which may occur as a result of errant truck platoons. It is unknown how these impacting trucks might interact with roadside safety barriers after leaving their platoon and what are the occupant risks associated with such impacts. This research will identify and prioritize the critical MASH TL5 roadside safety device(s) 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 device/s will be examined using multiple computer simulations for multiple scenarios. The injury risks of occupants during truck collision simulations will be assessed using dummy and human finite element models. The results and implications will be critical to understand if any roadside safety device improvements and/or platooning constraint modifications will be necessary before implementing truck platooning. It is expected that the outcomes of this research will be of particular interests for future and current transportation industry and agency leaders, students, professionals, researchers and DOT’s personnel involved with the selection of roadside safety hardware for deployment at critical locations where truck platooning will be allowed.

Final Report

01-006 Final Research Report

EWD & T2 Products

Student Impact Statement (pdf): One student was funded under this project (Roshan Sharma, Master’s student at TAMU). This file contains a statement of the impact this project made on this student’s education and workforce development.


Jin, H., Sharma, R., Meng, Y., Untaroiu, A., Silvestri Dobrovolny, C., Untaroiu, C. (2018, June) Evaluation of the injury risks of truck occupants involved in a crash as a result of errant truck platoons. 15th International LS-Dyna Conference, Dearborn, MI. (Published)

Jin, H., Sharma, R., Untaroiu A., Silvestri Dobrovolny, C., Untaroiu, C.D. (2018) Evaluation of the injury risks of truck occupants involved in a crash as a result of errant truck platoons, IRCOBI Conference, Athens, Greece (Published)

Jin, H., Sharma, R., Untaroiu A., Doerzaph, Z., Silvestri Dobrovolny, C., Meng, Y., Untaroiu, C.D. (2019) Evaluation of the injury risks of truck occupants involved in a crash as a result of errant truck platoons, Accident Analysis & Prevention (Elsevier). (Under Review)

Research Investigators (PI*)

Chiara Silvestri Dobrovolny (TTI/TAMU)*
Costin Unitariou (VT)*
Roshan Sharma (TTI/TAMU)
Yunzhu Meng (VT)

Project Information

Start Date: 2017-01-01
End Date: 2018-10-15
Status: Active
Grant Number: 69A3551747115
Total Funding: $301,597
Source Organization: Safe-D National UTC
Project Number: 01-006

Safe-D Theme Areas

Automated Vehicles
Connected Vehicles

Safe-D Application Areas

Infrastructure Technology
Planning for Safety
Operations and Design
Vehicle Technology
Freight and Heavy Vehicle

More Information

UTC Project Information Form

Sponsor Organization

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
University Transportation Centers Program
Department of Transportation
Washington, DC 20590 United States

Performing Organization

Texas A&M University
Texas A&M Transportation Institute
3135 TAMU
College Station, Texas 77843-3135

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
3500 Transportation Research Plaza
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061