Use of n-Fold Cross-Validation to Evaluate Three Methods to Calculate Heavy Truck Annual Average Daily Traffic and Vehicle Miles Traveled

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ABSTRACT
Reliable estimates of heavy-truck volumes in the United States are important in a number of transportation applications including pavement design and management, traffic safety, and traffic operations. Additionally, because heavy vehicles emit pollutants at much higher rates than passenger vehicles, reliable volume estimates are critical to computing accurate inventories of on-road emissions. Accurate baseline inventories are also necessary to forecast future scenarios. The research presented in this paper evaluated three different methods commonly used by transportation agencies to estimate annual average daily traffic (AADT), which is used to determine vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Traffic data from continuous count stations provided by the Iowa Department of Transportation were used to estimate AADT for single-unit and multiunit trucks for rural freeways and rural primary highways using the three methods. The first method developed general expansion factors, which apply to all vehicles. AADT, representing all vehicles, was estimated for short-term counts and was multiplied by statewide average truck volumes for the corresponding roadway type to obtain AADT for each truck category. The second method also developed general expansion factors and AADT estimates. Truck AADT for the second method was calculated by multiplying the general AADT by truck volumes from the short-term counts. The third method developed expansion factors specific to each truck group. AADT estimates for each truck group were estimated from short-term counts using corresponding expansion factors. Accuracy of the three methods was determined by comparing actual AADT from count station data to estimates from the three methods. Accuracy of the three methods was compared using n-fold cross-validation. Mean squared error of prediction was used to estimate the difference between estimated and actual AADT. Prediction error was lowest for the method that developed separate expansion factors for trucks. Implications for emissions estimation using the different methods are also discussed.

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