Optimal route and speed (3D navigation) for minimising fuel consumption of trucks


Contact Dr Yue Huang to discuss this project further informally.

Project description

Drivers and logistics companies traditionally use GPS for route advice. A two-dimensional route is selected mainly based on the distance and traffic condition. The influencing factors on vehicle fuel consumption can be broadly categorised into road related (e.g. geometry, pavement), traffic related (e.g. speed), vehicle related (e.g. tyre, engine) and weather related (e.g. temperature, wind). Road gradient and pavement-tyre interaction have significant effects on fuel consumption, and thus should be taken into account in vehicle route choice.

Aim and Scope

This project is to establish numerical relationships between road and pavement with vehicle fuel consumption, to develop, test and evaluate a model and simulation tool of such relationships, with solutions and strategies to reduce fuel consumption. This study will review state-of-the-art literature on the modelling of vehicle resistance; it will take findings from on-going (e.g. optiTruck) as well as recently completed projects (e.g. ECRPD (Energy Conservation in Road Pavement Design, management and utilisation) and MIRIAM (Models for rolling resistance In Road Infrastructure Asset Management Systems)). It will devise a method to integrate the findings to existing route optimisation framework. The outputs aim to help to significantly reduce the fuel consumption of long distance trucks.

This project will identify a case study to demonstrate the usefulness of the tool. The case study could cover one or more of (but not limited to) the following areas:

  •  Route planning: to enhance the connection between nodes, not only at the congested nodes but over the entire network;
  •  Dynamic routing: to enhance the feedback loops which are lacking in the current architectures and systems of global logistics, to allow for deviation management and corrective and preventive actions;
  •  Life cycle assessment (LCA) of roads: to expand the boundary of road LCA studies such that use phase impacts (i.e. traffic emissions) can be included;


 BARTH, M., SCORA, G. & YOUNGLOVE, T. 1999. Estimating Emissions and Fuel Consumption for Different Levels of Freeway Congestion. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 1664, 47-57.

 HAMMARSTROM, U., ERIKSSON, J., KARLSSON, R. & YAHYA, M. 2012. Rolling resistance model, fuel consumption model and the traffic energy saving potential from changed road surface conditions. Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI).

SANTERO, N. J., MASANET, E. & HORVATH, A. 2011. Life-cycle assessment of pavements Part II: Filling the research gaps. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 55, 810-18.

TAYLOR, G. W. & PATTEN, J. D. 2006. Effects of Pavement Structure on Vehicle Fuel Consumption. Centre for Surface Transportation Technology (CSTT), National Research Council of Canada (NRC).

ZAABAR, I. & CHATTI, K. 2010. Calibration of HDM-4 Models for Estimating the Effect of Pavement Roughness on Fuel Consumption for U.S. Conditions. Transportation Research Record, 2155, 105-116.

 WANG, J. & RAKHA, H. A. 2017. Fuel consumption model for heavy duty diesel trucks: Model development and testing. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 55, 127-141.

Entry requirements

Applications are invited from candidates with or expecting a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2:1), and/or a Master's degree in the relevant subject area.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements.

Additional staff contact

Dr Haibo Chen

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the PhD you wish to be considered for is the ‘Optimal route and speed (3D navigation) for minimising fuel consumption of trucks' as well as Dr Yue Huang as your proposed supervisor.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office e: phd@its.leeds.ac.uk, t: +44 (0)113 34 35326.