Experimental investigation of a two-truck platoon considering inter-vehicle distance, lateral offset and yaw
Journal article, 2021

In recent years a renewed interest in platooning has emerged due to increasing pressure on vehicle manufacturers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of their fleets. Vehicles traveling in close proximity have been studied in some depth, particularly simplified bodies and North American trucks. Still, there is a lack of understanding of the benefits of platooning for European style trucks. In this study, experiments were undertaken using two 1:6 scale detailed cab over engine tractor-trailer models in a wind tunnel with a moving ground. Surface pressures were measured on both trucks, while force measurements were taken on the model placed on the belt. Inter-vehicle distance, lateral offset, and yaw conditions were varied. Results show that a reduction of drag for the platoon is seen as the inter-vehicle distance decreases. For the leading truck, the reduction is due to an increased base pressure caused by the truck behind. The trailing truck has a more complex behavior and is sensitive to yaw changes. At short inter-vehicle distances, the leading truck loses in performance with a lateral offset, while the trailing truck gains in performance if under yaw conditions. To aid the flow analysis, numerical simulations were undertaken for some conditions studied experimentally.

Lateral offset




Inter-vehicle distance

Reynolds independence

Wind tunnel experiments



Johannes Törnell

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Vehicle Engineering and Autonomous Systems

Simone Sebben

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Vehicle Engineering and Autonomous Systems

Per Elofsson

Scania CV AB

Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics

0167-6105 (ISSN)

Vol. 213 104596

Aerodynamics of platoons with multiple vehicle types: an optimisation for future transportation systems

Swedish Energy Agency (2017-007896), 2018-01-02 -- 2021-12-31.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics



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