Vehicle operating costs are part of the costs that highway agencies must consider when evaluating pavement-investment strategies. For conventional vehicles, these costs are related to fuel and oil consumption, tire wear, repair and maintenance, and depreciation; emerging vehicle technologies may involve other cost items. These costs depend on the vehicle class and are influenced by vehicle technology, pavement-surface type, pavement condition, roadway geometrics, environment, speed of operation, and other factors. A large body of research is available on the effects of pavement condition on vehicle operating costs and on models used to estimate these effects. Much of this information and many of the models were developed on the basis of data generated some 30 years ago in other countries for vehicle fleets that vary substantially from those used currently in the United States and for roadways that differ from those built in the United States. However, some relevant information was collected in the United States in recent years that could help in refining these models or developing models that would better apply to current and future U.S. conditions; this information applies to operating costs of heavy trucks. Inadequate information is available on the effects of pavement condition on the operating costs of light vehicles (automobiles and pick-up trucks).
Inadequate models for estimating the effects of pavement condition on vehicle operating costs make it difficult to conduct a rational economic analysis. Research is needed to review available information and to develop models applicable to emerging vehicle technology and to traffic and environmental conditions encountered in the United States. Such models will provide highway agencies with the tools necessary for considering vehicle operating costs in evaluating pavement-investment strategies and identifying options that yield economic and other benefits.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this research is to recommend models for estimating the effects of pavement condition on vehicle operating costs. The models shall reflect current vehicle technology in the United States.
STATUS: Project is complete. The final report has been published as NCHRP Report 720 available at https://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_720.pdf
The report presents models for estimating the effects of pavement condition on vehicle operating costs. The models address fuel consumption, tire wear, and repair and maintenance costs and are presented as computational software that is included in the print version of the report in a CD-ROM format. The CD-ROM is also available for download from TRB’s website as an ISO image. Links to the ISO image and instructions for burning a CD-ROM from an ISO image are provided below.
Appendixes A through D to the report provide further elaboration on the work performed in the project that developed NCHRP Report 720. The appendixes, which were not included with the print version of the report, are only available for download through the link below.
• Appendix A: Fuel Consumption Models,
• Appendix B: Tire Wear Models,
• Appendix C: Repair and Maintenance Models, and
• Appendix D: An Overview of Emerging Technologies.
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