Engineering Firm: Can Bridges Handle Weight of Platooning Trucks?

Date: January 8, 2018

Transport Topics Magazine

While truck-to-truck communication, driver training and safety have advanced the effort to hasten platooning to market, another critical aspect is looming and just may cause momentum to pull back some: the impact on infrastructure.

Researchers and engineers attending the National Academies of Sciences’ annual Transportation Research Board conference here said platooning is expected to be one of the first applications of autonomous vehicles and that just the relatively close distance that must be maintained between the vehicles in order to stay connected means a greater amount of weight concentrated on smaller-than-usual portions of the road.

That aspect must undergo intense research, they said, citing damage to bridges in particular.

“How do loads impact the physical plant? The deck, beams, joints, pavement are stressed by heavy vehicles moving closer and closer together,” said Richard Dunne, director of structures at Michael Baker International... To Continue Reading, CLICK HERE

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