Estimation of Car Fuel Consumption in Urban Traffic

Aerial photograph of road


The concept of a hierarchy of fuel consumption models is discussed where models of different levels of detail are applicable to the various scales of traffic systems. Fuel consumption models of four levels of detail are described and easy to use functions and graphs are presented to assist their application. The areas of use of each model are described and the appropriate fuel consumption model for various traffic models is given. The fuel consumption models range from a detailed energy-related instantaneous model to the aggregate average travel speed model being derived from a more detailed model. The vehicle parameters are explicit at all model levels but, for simplicity here, models are presented with a set of default parameters. The more detailed models are structured and calibrated so that the various components of fuel consumption are estimated separately. This allows the incremental effect on fuel consumption of changes in traffic management to be estimated. Examples of the use of each model are given.


BIGGS, D.C. and AKÇELIK, R. (1986). Estimation of Car Fuel Consumption in Urban Traffic. Proc. 13th ARRB/5th REAAA(1986); Vol. 13(7), pp 123-132.