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Driver-truck models for software-in-the-loop simulations

By using vehicle-to-vehicle communication, vehicles can cooperate in many ways by sending positions and other relevant data between each other. One popular example is platooning where many, especially heavy vehicles, drive on a trail with short distances resulting in a reduction of air resistance. To achieve a good efficiency of the platooning it is required that vehicle fleets are coordinated, so that the percentage of time for driving in platoon is maximized without affecting the total driving time and distance too much. For large fleets, this is a complex optimization problem which would be difficult to solve by only using the real world as the test environment.

To provide a more adaptable test environment for the communication and platooning coordination, an augmented reality with virtual vehicles ("Ghost trucks") with relevant communication abilities are developed. In order to realise the virtual testing environment for trucks, Scania initiated a project that could be divided into the workload of three master theses. This thesis involved the part of developing the virtual vehicles, which include the development of a truck model and a driver model.

The developed truck model consists of a single track vehicle model and several powertrain models of different complexity provided by Scania. Additionally, the driver model consists of steering wheel and speed controls in order to keep the truck on a safe distance from the lead truck and stay on a preferred lane. The key feature of the driver-truck model is its modular design, which provides great flexibility in selecting the level of detail for each component. The driver-truck model can be duplicated and simulated together in real time and performs platooning with each other in a road system based on the real world. As the driver-truck model is module based, it can easily be extended for future purposes with more complex functions.

The driver-truck model is implemented in Simulink and the simulation performance for different model complexity is evaluated. It is demonstrated that the flexibility of the developed model allows a balanced decision to be made between realistic truck behavior and simulation speed. Furthermore, multi-truck simulations are performed using the model, which demonstrate the effectiveness of the model in the evaluation of truck platooning operations.

Oskar Daniels


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Last updated: 2021-11-10