SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1994

The Effect of Vehicle-Road Interaction on Fuel Consumption


This is a review paper of experimental measurements of the effects of road and tire characteristics on the rolling resistance and fuel consumption of cars, goods vehicles, and buses. The rolling resistance of tires has been reduced by improved design and can be reduced in use by higher inflation pressures and, for goods vehicles, by the use of wide single tires in place of duals. For heavy vehicles, higher inflation pressures and wide single tires increase road wear.

On paved roads, rolling resistance and fuel consumption is increased separately by the surface macrotexture and the profile unevenness. These effects are additive and over the range of conditions found on European roads can each increase car fuel consumption by about 5% Unevenness can increase goods vehicle fuel consumption by up to 10% On unpaved roads in developing countries, fuel consumption of goods vehicles and buses is increased by 15 to 20% over that on paved roads. In addition, loose material on the road surface further increases fuel consumption.

Author Information

Gyenes, L
Transport Research Laboratory, Crowthorne, Berkshire, United Kingdom
Mitchell, CGB
Transport Research Laboratory, Crowthorne, Berkshire, United Kingdom
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Developed by Committee: E17
Pages: 225–239
DOI: 10.1520/STP13258S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5279-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1893-5