Purdue Engineering Podcast

Autonomous Commercial Vehicles with Greg Shaver

November 19, 2020

In this episode highlighting the School of Mechanical Engineering (ME), we meet Greg Shaver, a professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University. We'll learn more about his work with connected Class 8 trucks and autonomous truck platooning.

Professor Greg Shaver shares about his work with autonomous commercial vehicles, specifically with class 8 tractor trailers. These big rigs haul about 70% of the freight in the US, and consume 25% of the nation's fuel. If these trucks could be made more efficient -- even just a little bit -- there would be huge cost savings, and at the same time, significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Professor Shaver is working on platooning, in which one truck autonomously follows another at close range. Once in a platoon, the air resistance lowers, and this alone can increase fuel economy up to 15%. And, counterintuitively, it's actually much safer, because connected trucks react much more quickly than human drivers do. We talked to Professor Shaver about how important it is for academics to work with industry and government to tackle these big challenges.

Shaver joined Purdue University's School of Mechanical Engineering faculty in 2006. His PhD and MSME are from Stanford University, and his BSME is from Purdue University. His research interests include: Model-based system and control design of commercial vehicle power trains, connected and automated commercial vehicles, internal combustion engine and after-treatment system design and controls, and flexible valve actuation in diesel and natural gas engines.  Shaver is also currently involved in the Purdue Engineering Initiative in Autonomous and Connected Systems and recently participated in a webinar on "Advancing Driver-Centric Automation to Enhance Safety and Efficiency in Freight Trucking"

This is one of three episodes featuring Purdue University's School of Mechanical Engineering. Listen to more about ME and other engineering topics at the Purdue Engineering podcast website

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