A large-scale experiment has been carried out within the European DRIVE Project to identify actual vehicle use conditions. Fifty-eight privately-owned cars - 13 models, in 6 European cities - were equipped with sensors and data acquisition systems and studied under actual use conditions with their own drivers during 1-month period. A wide range of variables were measured and continuously recorded in order to define engine and vehicle operating conditions. Vehicle and engine speeds, engine and ambient temperatures, and fuel consumption have been recorded at 1-s time intervals over 73 000 km and 8200 trips. The data obtained yielded very accurate information on the actual car use which provided a wide image of normal European driving. This database enabled the analysis of car use characteristics and operating conditions which probably influence pollutant emissions and fuel consumption: daily vehicle use, trip characteristics (trip length, duration, etc.), speed and accelerations used, engine running conditions (engine speeds, choke use, etc.), thermal conditions. Traffic conditions have been characterized through splitting recorded speed profiles into 'kinematic sequences', between successive stops. Factorial analysis and classifying techniques enabled characterization of these sequences and linking of the different sequence types. A set of driving cycles for realistic emission measurements has been drawn up using these data, representing the different traffic conditions and driving patterns observed, while taking into account the influence of the vehicle type, driver's behaviour and geographical location, as well as the detailed records of engine operations. Vehicle uses were very frequent and often short. Time spent at rest or at low speed is very significant. Short trips, low temperatures, accelerations, and more generally urban traffic conditions, caused significant increases in fuel consumption. © 1994.
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