Argonne National Laboratory

The Vehicle Platooning Problem: Computational Complexity and Heuristics

TitleThe Vehicle Platooning Problem: Computational Complexity and Heuristics
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsLarsson, E, Sennton, G, Larson, J
Other NumbersANL/MCS-P5129-0414

We create a mathematical framework for modeling trucks traveling in road networks, and we define a routing problem called the platooning problem. We prove that this problem is NP-hard, even when the graph used to represent the road network is planar. We present integer linear programming formulations for instances of the platooning problem where deadlines are discarded, which we call the unlimited platooning problem. These allow us to calculate fuel-optimal solutions to the platooning problem for large-scale, real-world examples. The problems solved are orders of magnitude larger than problems previously solved exactly in the literature. We present several heuristics and compare their perfor- mance with the optimal solutions on the German Autobahn road network. The proposed heuristics find optimal or near-optimal solutions in most of the problem instances consid- ered, especially when a final local search is applied. Assuming a fuel reduction factor of 10% from platooning, we find fuel savings from platooning of 1–2% for as few as 10 trucks in the road network; the percentage of savings increases with the number of trucks. If all trucks start at the same point, savings of up to 9% are obtained for only 200 trucks.