Current Projects

Mileage Survey 2014: Scientific Supervision and Evaluation

The total mileage of vehicles is the sum of all travelled kilometers that occur during a fixed period of time on a predefined road network. Mileage is one of the most important indicators describing usage of the road transport infrastructure. Further estimates, such as an evaluation of traffic safety or a calculation of traffic-induced environmental effects, can be carried out based on this indicator.

Mileage surveys in Germany are only carried out at infrequent time intervals, due to the very high survey costs. The last significant studies occurred in 1990, 1993 and 2002. A new mileage survey is planned for 2014.


The overall project “Mileage Survey 2014” consists of three subprojects:

  • Scientific supervision and evaluation
  • Conduction of a vehicle owners survey
  • Conduction of a general traffic count

The Institute of Transport Research is supervising the overall project and evaluating the results in cooperation with IVT Research GmbH.


Two questions form the core of the overall project “Mileage Survey 2014”:

  • What is the total mileage of all vehicles registered in Germany, categorized according to vehicle type and additional criteria?
  • What is the total mileage of all vehicles on roads in Germany, categorized according to vehicle type, road categories and nationality of the vehicles?


The calculation of mileage requires a differentiation of mileage from domestic vehicles and mileage on domestic territory. The first comprises the annual mileage of all vehicles registered in Germany. The main component of the survey is an interview of vehicles owners, which are drawn as a random sample from the Central Vehicle Register managed by the Federal Office for Motor Traffic. The interviews are organized in six waves over the course of 2014, each wave consisting of an initial and a final interview separated by ten weeks. The reading of the vehicle odometers at the beginning and at the end of the survey period is key information and one of the most important survey elements. This forms the basis for the calculation of the annual vehicle mileage.

The information on mileage from inland vehicles thus obtained will then be joined with empirical data from other mobility surveys, such as Mobilität in Deutschland (MiD) and Kraftfahrzeugverkehr in Deutschland (KiD). This will enable the evaluation of trip-specific attributes, such as trip purpose, time of day of usage or age and sex of the driver.

For the collection of mileage on German territory, i.e. the annual mileage of all vehicles on German roads, a newly developed expansion procedure will be used on the basis of traffic counts. These counts will be carried out throughout 2014 at selected road sites.

Contracting entity

  • Bundesanstalt für Straßenwesen (BASt)


  • DLR-Institute of Transport Research
  • IVT Research GmbH

Project duration

07/2014 to 12/2015

Dr.-Ing. Tobias Kuhnimhof
German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Institute of Transport Research
, Passenger Transport
Tel: +49 30 67055-168

Fax: +49 30 67055-283

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