Research Projects

Project at a Glance

Project Status: active

Title: Development of a new methodology to characterize truck body types along California freeways

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Richie, Stephen

Contractor: UC Irvine

Contract Number: 11-316

Research Program Area: Health & Exposure, Emissions Monitoring & Control

Topic Areas: Health Effects of Air Pollution, Mobile Sources & Fuels

Research Summary:

Inductive loop detector (ILD) systems are widely deployed in major freeway corridors in the United States to collect traffic data. However, the current systems only provide the number of vehicles and occupancy data. These systems are unable to characterize the traffic composition such as the percentage of trucks and buses, which is a critical input for emissions estimation. Recently, University of California, Irvine (UCI) under contract with ARB developed a California Vehicle Activity Database (CalVAD) to estimate highway vehicle miles traveled (VMT), average speed, heavy-duty truck VMT and heavy-duty truck weight. However, these enhancements do not provide information on truck body classification and the relationship between body size and weight characteristics that influence emissions from the truck fleet. Therefore, this study proposes to develop and implement an improved data collection methodology that will provide body type classification for trucks traveling on the California freeway system. This project includes development of a truck body classification model that will use classifications similar to the classifications in the Vehicle Inventory Use Survey (VIUS). The results from the proposed study are expected to differentiate between freight and non-freight trucks both spatially and temporally. The results of this study can be used to estimate the proportion of long haul and short haul trips in major corridors. This will lead to improvements in emission inventory models to predict the effectiveness of various emissions control program. Further, the information from this study will also be used to calibrate and validate the statewide freight-forecasting model and will help inform freight models under development by metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs). Ultimately, the results from this study will help to develop strategies to reduce emissions from Californiaís goods movement.


For questions regarding research reports, contact: Heather Choi at (916) 322-3893

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