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Wanted: Clinkers, Clunkers, and Lemons

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This article describes a computer program designed for police fleet managers known as AutoRank, which has the capability to determine when a vehicle will break down.

Police fleet managers know that one of the most frustrating components of their job is their inability to forecast the overall costs of police vehicle breakdowns. One catastrophic breakdown can send the budget into a tailspin. The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), in partnership with the Office of Law Enforcement Standards (OLES), is developing a computer program called AutoRank that will be able to predict vehicle breakdowns by the make, model, and year of the vehicle, providing the fleet manager with the information necessary to make effective decisions about the vehicle. The program will classify and analyze vehicle failure data and will produce a list, ranked by priority, of the vehicles most likely to cause problems in the coming year. The type of problem and the likely cost to repair the vehicle are also included. Contact information is provided to learn more about AutoRank.

Date Published: January 1, 1998