A set of driving cycle profiles, based on data collected in the UK using two instrumented test vehicles, is presented for use in the assessment of fuel economy of private cars. For each vehicle, a set of nine distinct cycles is derived. Each cycle represents driving on a particular type of road, where roads are classified according to their 'urban' or 'rural' character, and the prevailing speed limits. The method used to generate each cycle ensures that the frequency distributions of speed and acceleration closely matches those of the data from which it is derived. The validity of each cycle is assessed by comparing the fuel use, estimated by a simple computer model, with the fuel consumption recorded during on-road driving. The cycle synthesis technique can generate composite cycles to represent driving on routes which involve combinations of sections with different speed characteristics.

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