Autonomous cars have become a reality due to breakthroughs in technology enablers such as embedded computing systems and artificial intelligence. Automated platooning, which can be employed in autonomous cars, allows grouping of vehicles into platoons. Using this technology in highways brings forth a number of benefits such as improving traffic throughput, increasing fuel efficiency, and reducing collisions. Towards that end, this paper proposes a cooperative cruise controller for both homogeneous and heterogeneous vehicle platoon systems. The controller consists of two control layers; namely, platoon supervisory control layer and cruise control layer. The developed controller was validated and evaluated through an intensive set of simulation scenarios. The results show that the controller outperforms other contenders by 40 % in improving the road capacity. In addition, the results indicate that the controller is capable of handling different traffic scenarios (i.e. homogeneous vs. heterogeneous vehicle platoons) as well as being fault-tolerant to disruptions such as loss of communication between vehicles.
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