Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
With the progress and expansion of civilization, companies are interested in distributing their products and goods in distributed areas on a daily basis. These daily tasks are considered to ensure that the products reach the largest possible number of people to keep pace with accommodating the expansion and population. However, these daily duties demand a lot of effort and are financially burdened on both drivers and companies as well. Besides that, daily transportation might cause traffic congestion as well as being negative on the environment with harmful emissions coming from heavy-duty trucks. With overcrowding, companies may face delays in the arrival of their products to their customers, which is a point that may reflect negatively on the company's reputation in the business. One of the proposed solutions for companies to deal with these problems is to create a platoon of trucks during their transportation between the pickup stations and the drop-off stations. The literature review demonstrates that there are written benefits for the truck platoons, however, there is a lack of showing these benefits in the reality. The platoon simulation was built in this thesis to present the results numerically so that they could be contrasted with scenarios where the platoon was not used for freight transportation. This thesis focused on the benefits of a platoon from three aspects: the aspect of saving time, reducing cost by reducing fuel usage, and finally increasing safety in public driving on highways. The results of using the simulations showed that the time was using to deliver the goods by using truck platoons was shorter than the time by using individual trucks. Additionally, traffic congestion was less when the trucks were driven on single-lane on highways, which causes reduced the number of accidents especially, those that occurred with small cars. They compiled accident data between 2007 and 2017, coming to the conclusion that 98,790 crashes involving large trucks were among the 243,017 total crashes. In the same survey, the authors found that 9.4% of truck accidents occurred when changing lanes with small cars on highways. This thesis demonstrated numerically that there was less fuel usage while the trucks were driven in a platoon compared with the fuel usage of the trucks that were driven individually. In a word, transportation companies will gain benefits from using truck platoons to deliver their goods to their customers.
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