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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey (VIUS)

Thursday, May 16, 2024

VIUS Products

What is VIUS?

The VIUS has been the principal data source on the physical and operational characteristics of the United States truck population. Its primary goal is to gain an understanding nationally and statewide on how trucks are being utilized for various goods transport. 


The 2021 VIUS

The 2021 VIUS was conducted for the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) by the U.S. Census Bureau with support from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) to better understand the characteristics and use of vehicles on our nation's roads. The data can be used to guide investments in our nation's infrastructure, vehicle technologies and parts; as well as to evaluate truck safety needs, emissions estimates, and conservation practices.  BTS is proud to be bringing back this survey with the support of its partners after 20 years. 

The 2021 VIUS is a survey of 150,000 vehicle owners of class 1 through 8 trucks, which includes vehicle body types, such as, pickups, SUVs, minivans, light vans, straight trucks and truck tractors. Dependent on the size of the selected vehicle, the vehicle owner received either the Heavy Vehicle Questionnaire or the Light Vehicle Questionnaire. The survey was conducted from February through October, 2022. 

The 2021 VIUS collected data on: 

  • Vehicle safety technologies, such as, collision warning, parking assist, and vehicle to vehicle communications
  • Vehicle fuel types, including alternative fuel sources
  • Vehicle maintenance and level of repairs
  • The uses of vehicles, including how often they are used, their capabilities, how far they travel, and why they travel
  • Miles traveled and fuel economy by weight, type, configuration, and age of vehicle
  • Axle configurations, trailers hauled, and operating weight
  • Equipment added after manufacture of the chassis
  • Business versus personal use and types of economic activity served
  • Commodities carried
  • And much more!

VIUS Uses

Current VIUS estimates are of critical importance to federal agencies, state departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, business, and drivers alike.  

Results from the 2021 survey will:

     Provide statistics for:

  • Vehicle size and weight studies
  • Tracking the deployment of driver-assistance technology
  • Input to freight demand models and air quality models
  • Role of motor vehicles in the economy
  • Fuel efficiency of the Nation's truck fleet
  • Analyses of fees and allocation of cost among highway users
  • Highway traveler exposure to potential safety risks

     Guide investments into:

  • Better roads, bridges, fueling stations, and other transportation infrastructure at the local and state level
  • Decrease traffic congestion and energy usage on the nation’s roadways
  • Increase safety and the ability to move goods more effectively
  • And more!

Title 13 (T13) Dataset

A Title 13 (T13) dataset of the 2021 VIUS data is now available for researchers to request through the Federal Statistical Research Data Center (FSRDC). Title 13 data is information collected directly by the Census Bureau.

Researchers need to request FSRDC access and receive Special Sworn Status (SSS) clearance. The project must provide a benefit back to the Census Bureau and estimates must have Disclosure Review Board (DRB) approval before being released. Lastly, the data cannot be used for regulatory purposes. More details on the process of applying for FSRDC access and SSS clearance can be found here

Please direct inquires and interest to: VIUS@dot.gov and ERD.VIUS@census.gov.

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