Given the significant savings in fuel consumption (due to improved air dynamics) and the relatively simple control schemes required (compared to other autonomous vehicle scenarios) truck platooning is expected to be one of the first applications of autonomous vehicles. Although much work is ongoing in the realm of control schemes, communication protocols, signage, driver training, and policy, little (if any) attention is being paid to the influence of truck platooning on bridge
performance. Importantly, the live load models included within the AASHTO Bridge Design Specifications include no consideration of truck platooning. How closely spaced trucks within a single lane (which is currently not considered in design) influences the Strength, Fatigue, and Serviceability limit states of bridges remains an open question. In
addition, the current manner in which dynamic amplification of live load is addressed does not account for repeated (and potentially harmonic) loading from closely spaced trucks. In the case of trains (which is a reasonable analog for platoons of trucks), such structure-vehicle interaction has proven to be a decisive limit state. The proposed project would examine these issues primarily through simulation modeling and develop recommendations to minimize any adverse impact of truck platooning on bridge performance.