Economic and Environmental Impacts of Platoon Trucks on Pavements

Qingwen Zhou, Imad L. Al-Qadi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Truck platoons can improve traffic efficiency, safety, and driving comfort, while reducing fuel and driving costs. However, continuous channelized trucks may increase pavement damage, therefore increasing maintenance costs. In this study, an economic and environmental evaluation of the impact on pavement structure of platoon trucks was performed. Four common pavement structures—thick pavement with weak surface layer, thick pavement with strong surface layer, thin pavement with weak surface layer, and thin pavement with strong surface layer—were considered. In addition, four platoon schemes (all channelized platoons, all human-driven trucks, mix of platoon and human-driven trucks, and optimized platoons) were utilized in the study. Compared with human-driven traffic, truck platoons optimized with respect to lane position could reduce pavement damage by 60% for fatigue and 33% for rutting; life-cycle cost, energy consumption, and global warming potential could be reduced by 48%, 31%, and 37%, respectively, for the cases studied. A sensitivity analysis was performed to quantify the impacts of pavement roughness on life-cycle cost analysis and life-cycle assessment. Results showed that a 1 in./mi increment increase in the International Roughness Index per year would increase total energy consumption by 1.2% and total cost by 1.9%. The study recommends that an optimized pavement-lane-position strategy be implemented before permitting general truck platoons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTransportation Research Record
PublisherSAGE Publishing
Number of pages14
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • LCCA
  • infrastructure
  • life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • pavements
  • sustainable and resilient pavements
  • sustainable pavements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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