Remote sensing to detect emissions in real-time
The technology uses invisible laser beams to measure the levels of harmful substances, like NOx and particulate matter, emitted by each passing vehicle. Combining these data with the vehicles’ age, euro norm, and fuel type will give an image of which cars have heightened emissions.
For the measurements, the Environment Department is teaming up with the Belgian VUB university. The Dutch organization for applied physical sciences (TNO) and US company Heat also participate. The study will result in real-world emission data of over 100.000 cars and trucks.
The researchers will use the results for statistical analysis. They will compare the emissions of vehicles in certain groups with each other or with a benchmark. This will allow the study to devise measures so the government can reduce the impact of vehicle emissions in the future.
The research partners also studied how technology can be used for police checks on trucks. Some truck operators switch off filters or catalyzers in their vehicles to reduce costs. This leads to heightened emissions.
Until recently, it was difficult to detect this fraud. In cooperation with the National Police Academy, researchers deployed a remote sensing installation for this purpose alongside the E40.
The results were striking. Usually, the police have to stop suspicious vehicles and inspect them, resulting in fines for 10% of stopped trucks. Remote sensing to choose trucks to stop increased the number to 80%. Much more effective.