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Data-driven battery lifetime prediction and confidence estimation for heavy-duty trucks

Maintenance planning is important in the automo- tive industry as it will allow fleet owners or regular customers to avoid unexpected failures of the components. One cause of unplanned stops of heavy-duty trucks is failure in the lead-acid starter battery. High availability of the vehicles can be achieved by changing the battery frequently, but such an approach is expensive both due to the frequent visits to a workshop and also due to the component cost. Here, a data-driven method based on Random Survival Forest (RSF) is proposed for predicting the reliability of the batteries. The data set available for the study, covering more than 50,000 trucks, has two important properties. First, it does not contain measurements related directly to the battery health, secondly there are no time series of measurements for every vehicle. In this paper, the RSF method is used to predict the reliability function for a particular vehicle using data from the fleet of vehicles given that only one set of measurements per vehicle is available. A theory for confidence bands for the RSF method is developed that is an extension of an existing technique for variance estimation in the Random Forest method. Adding confidence bands to the RSF method gives an opportunity for an engineer to evaluate the confidence of the model prediction. Some aspects of the confidence bands are considered: a) their asymptotic behavior and b) usefulness in model selection. A problem of including time related variables is addressed in the paper with arguments why it is a good choice not to add them into the model. Metrics for performance evaluation are suggested which show that the model can be used to schedule and optimize the cost of the battery replacement. The approach is illustrated extensively using the real-life truck data case study.

Sergii Voronov, Erik Frisk and Mattias Krysander

IEEE Transactions on reliability, 2018

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