Can Bridges Handle Weight of Platooning Trucks? Engineering Firm Wants to Know Transport Topics (01/07/18) Grant, Lorrie
Autonomous technology could make truck platooning an innovative way for cargo to be delivered. However, questions on how platooning can impact infrastructure are being raised. Platooning requires two or more trucks to travel at close distances. While this makes trips more efficient, it also places more weight on smaller-than-usual portions of the road. Experts say this added weight on roads must be studied carefully, particularly when it comes to bridges. Richard Dunne, director of structures at Michael Baker International, says, "How do loads impact the physical plant? The deck, beams, joints, pavement are stressed by heavy vehicles moving closer and closer together." Dunne adds that a universal standard on traveling distance between trucks may be needed to ensure trucks aren't damaging roads and bridges.