College - Author 1

College of Engineering

Department - Author 1

Mechanical Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Mechanical Engineering



Primary Advisor

Charles Birdsong, Bruce DeBruhl


The purpose of this project is to demonstrate the safety and increased fuel efficiency of an automated collision avoidance system in collaborative vehicle platooning. This project was cosponsored by Daimler Trucks North America headquartered in Portland, Oregon, as well as Dr. Birdsong, and Dr. DeBruhl of Cal Poly. The mechanical engineering team consists of Cole Oppenheim, James Gildart, Toan Le, and Kyle Bybee who worked in coordination with a team of computer engineers. Vehicle platooning is a driving technique to increase the fuel efficiency of a group of vehicles by following a lead vehicle closely to reduce the drag experienced by the group. Specifically, large tractor trailer trucks could become more efficient utilizing vehicle platooning. To implement this system most effectively would require an automatic system for collision avoidance. The goal for the mechanical engineering team working on this project was build and design two scale model vehicles, a test track, and dynamic models of the vehicles. These were then interface with computer vision software and hardware (created in collaboration of a team of computer engineers) that allows the vehicles to autonomously platoon and avoid objects that would otherwise cause a collision. Interactions with the computer engineering team occurred at minimum on a weekly basis and more whenever necessary. Interactions between the team’s original occurred as meetings to determine each team individual progress until integration could be accomplished. When the systems were being integrated, meetings occurred regularly (2-3 times a week) to ensure the vehicles could properly execute their design function. The goal of this project is to demonstrate how this system could be implemented in truck platooning safely and to demonstrate the advantages of platooning with system developed. This project was intended and will be presented to compete at the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles conference in the Netherlands in June of 2019. This report covers the scope of work of this project, the preliminary design direction, and the final design direction, and the final design for the assembly of the two 1/10 scale cars, the track design, and the controls strategy to interface with the CPE’s software.