To improve the ride quality in connected vehicle platoons, information about the motion of the leader can be transmitted using vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication and such information can be incorporated in the controllers of the following vehicle. However, according to the current V2V standards, dedicated short range communication (DSRC) devices transmit information every 100 ms which introduces time delays into the control loops. In this paper we study the effects of these time delays on the dynamics of vehicle platoons subject to digital control and derive conditions for plant stability and string stability. It is shown that when the time delay exceeds a critical value, no gain combination can stabilize the system. Our results have important implications on connected vehicle design.

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