Pink, A., Ragatz, A., Wang, L., Wood, E. et al., "Comparison of Vehicle-Broadcasted Fuel Consumption Rates against Precise Fuel Measurements for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles and Engines," SAE Int. J. Fuels Lubr. 10(2):2017, doi:10.4271/2017-01-0901.
Vehicles continuously report real-time fuel consumption estimates over their data bus, known as the controller area network (CAN). However, the accuracy of these fueling estimates is uncertain to researchers who collect these data from any given vehicle. To assess the accuracy of these estimates, CAN-reported fuel consumption data are compared against fuel measurements from precise instrumentation. The data analyzed consisted of eight medium/heavy-duty vehicles and two medium-duty engines. Varying discrepancies between CAN fueling rates and the more accurate measurements emerged but without a vehicular trend-for some vehicles the CAN under-reported fuel consumption and for others the CAN over-reported fuel consumption. Furthermore, a qualitative real-time analysis revealed that the operating conditions under which these fueling discrepancies arose varied among vehicles. A drive cycle analysis revealed that while CAN fueling estimate accuracy differs for individual vehicles, that CAN estimates capture the relative fuel consumption differences between drive cycles within 4% for all vehicles and even more accurately for some vehicles. Thus, in situations where only CAN-reported data are available, CAN fueling estimates can provide relative fuel consumption trends but not accurate or precise fuel consumption rates.