The Effect of Afterbody Geometry on Passenger Vehicles in Platoon

Hesham Ebrahim*, Robert Dominy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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It is well known that platoons of closely spaced passenger cars can reduce their aerodynamic drag yielding substantial savings in energy consumption and reduced emissions as a system. Most published research has focused on platoons of identical vehicles which can arguably be justified by some evidence that geometric variety has little to no effect on the overall flow characteristics in platoons of three vehicles or more. It is known that much of the aerodynamic benefit from platooning is gained by the leading two cars, so operating as vehicle pairs could potentially achieve similar environmental benefits whilst addressing many of the practical challenges associated with the safe operation of long platoons on public roads. However, it has been reported that unlike long platoons, the effect of geometry and arrangement is critical if the drag reduction of a pair is to be optimised. This paper describes a parametric study based on three geometric variants of the popular DrivAer model with different combinations and spacings. It is confirmed that vehicle geometry crucially affects the results with the best combinations matching those of long platoons and others creating a net drag increase.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7553
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2021


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