Analysis and prediction of vehicle kilometers traveled: A case study in Spain

Paúl Narváez-Villa, Blanca Arenas-Ramírez, José Mira, Francisco Aparicio-Izquierdo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Knowledge of the kilometers traveled by vehicles is essential in transport and road safety studies as an indicator of exposure and mobility. Its application in the determination of user risk indices in a disaggregated manner is of great interest to the scientific community and the authorities in charge of ensuring road safety on highways. This study used a sample of the data recorded during passenger vehicle inspections at Vehicle Technical Inspection stations and housed in a data warehouse managed by the General Directorate for Traffic of Spain. This study has three notable characteristics: (1) a novel data source is explored, (2) the methodology developed applies to other types of vehicles, with the level of disaggregation the data allows, and (3) pattern extraction and the estimate of mobility contribute to the continuous and necessary improvement of road safety indicators and are aligned with goal 3 (Good Health and Well-Being: Target 3.6) of The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda. An Operational Data Warehouse was created from the sample received, which helped in obtaining inference values for the kilometers traveled by Spanish fleet vehicles with a level of disaggregation that, to the knowledge of the authors, was unreachable with advanced statistical models. Three machine learning methods, CART, random forest, and gradient boosting, were optimized and compared based on the performance metrics of the models. The three methods identified the age, engine size, and tare weight of passenger vehicles as the factors with greatest influence on their travel patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8327
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to express their gratitude to Spanish Road Traffic Directorate General for the access to data provided for the study grant reference: SPIP2014-1430, from which the raw data used here become. The authors would like to express their gratitude to ?University Institute of Automobile Research Francisco Aparicio Izquierdo (INSIA-UPM)? of ?Universidad Polit?cnica de Madrid? and ?Universidad Polit?cnica Salesiana (Cuenca-Ecuador)? for the human resources provided for this work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • CART
  • Gradient boosting
  • Kilometers traveled
  • Mobility pattern
  • Passenger vehicles
  • Prediction
  • Random forest


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