Development of an Autonomous Campus Vehicle Platooning System/ Network Analysis of the Underperformance of Peloton Technology’s Platooning System

Pitorak, Carolyn, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Furukawa, Tomonari, EN-Mech & Aero Engr Dept, University of Virginia
Seabrook, Bryn, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

With the staggering amount of fatalities from car accidents coupled with the emissions from vehicles, the current United States transportation system is highly inefficient and unsafe. There has been a lot of innovation surrounding electric and autonomous vehicles, but these do not fully address some of the problems that crowd our roads today. Platooning systems may have a way of creating a more efficient transportation system in America. They work by using advanced sensor technology and vehicle communication to allow the vehicles to follow each other at very close distances. Despite providing such a bright future for roadways in America, the technology has not become widespread enough to impact the country overall. Peloton Technology was founded to bring this vision to life in America, but failed due to a number of factors which are discussed in my Science and Technology in Society Research Paper.
On a smaller scale, platooning can also help small communities by moving a large group of people with only one driver. Using platooning algorithms and sensors, different vehicles can be used to follow each other and almost create a train for passengers to ride on. In my capstone report, I detail the development of a golf cart platooning system whose final goal is to transport staff with limited mobility from parking lots to their working facilities.
It is important to take in both large scale and small scale use of platooning technologies in order to understand how it can benefit communities all over the United States. By understanding both aspects, it can help make platooning technologies more successful in the future, thus helping the transportation systems of America.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Platooning, Campus Vehicle, Autonomous Vehicle , Peloton Technology

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Technical Advisor: Tomonari Furukawa

STS Advisor: Bryn Seabrook

Technical Team Members: Santiago Merida, Ben Tharakan, Rachel Thirumalai, Riley Tufts, Victoria Vettoretti

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