The Development of Vocational Vehicle Drive Cycles and Segmentation

Adam Duran, Caleb Phillips, Kenneth Kelly, Arnaud Konan

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Under a collaborative interagency agreement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S Department of Energy (DOE), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) performed a series of in-depth analyses to characterize the on-road driving behavior including distributions of vehicle speed, idle time, accelerations and decelerations, and other driving metrics of medium- and heavy-duty vocational vehicles operating within the United States. As part of this effort, NREL researchers segmented U.S. medium- and heavy-duty vocational vehicle driving characteristics into three distinct operating groups or clusters using real world drive cycle data collected at 1 Hz and stored in NREL's Fleet DNA database. The Fleet DNA database contains millions of miles of historical real-world drive cycle data captured from medium- and heavy vehicles operating across the United States. The data encompass data from existing DOE activities as well as contributions from valued industry stakeholder participants. For this project, data captured from 913 unique vehicles comprising 16,250 days of operation were drawn from the Fleet DNA database and examined. The Fleet DNA data used as a source for this analysis has been collected from a total of 30 unique fleets/data providers operating across 22 unique geographic locations spread across the United States. This includes locations with topology ranging from the foothills of Denver, Colorado, to the flats of Miami, Florida. The range of fleets, geographic locations, and total number of vehicles analyzed ensures results that include the influence of these factors. While no analysis will be perfect without unlimited resources and data, it is the researchers understanding that the Fleet DNA database is the largest and most thorough publicly accessible vocational vehicle usage database currently in operation. This report includes an introduction to the Fleet DNA database and the data contained within, a presentation of the results of the statistical analysis performed by NREL, review of the logistic model developed to predict cluster membership, and a discussion and detailed summary of the development of the vocational drive cycle weights and representative transient drive cycles for testing and simulation. Additional discussion of known limitations and potential future work are also included in the report content.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages93
StatePublished - 2017

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5400-65921


  • carb
  • cluster analysis
  • clustering
  • drive
  • EPA
  • Fleet DNA
  • greenhouse gas phase 2
  • modeling
  • moves
  • representative drive cycle
  • transient cycle
  • vocational vehicle


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