Brussels to measure real vehicle emissions in traffic
Within the Brussels-Capital Region, The Brussels Environment organization (Leefmilieu Brussel) starts a campaign to measure vehicles’ actual emissions on the road. As ANPR cameras are linked to the measuring equipment, it is even possible to identify major polluters.
This campaign is a direct result of the new partnership with the Bloomberg Philanthropies Foundation and the FIA Foundation. Leefmilieu Brussel wants to use intelligent remote sensing systems to analyze the real emissions of individual vehicles without stopping traffic.
In addition to exhaust gas analysis, a microphone is added to the measuring unit so that defective or illegal exhaust systems can also be detected. The measurements occur at about ten different locations in the region, including the Wetstraat, the Tervurenlaan, or the Industrielaan.
The project is particularly ambitious because the measuring devices can detect, among other things, carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), particulate matter (PM), nitrogen monoxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and ammonia (NH3).
To make a thorough comparison between the measured substances and the vehicles, they are also flashed with a number plate recognition camera. “This allows us to compare the technical characteristics of the vehicle, provided by the FPS Mobility and Transport, with the emissions measured,” says Louise Duprez, a sustainable mobility expert at Leefmilieu Brussel.
Tracing soot filter fraud
According to the organization, a system is added that counts the number of soot particles to detect soot filter fraud. Even the periodic car inspection (GOCA) is awaiting the necessary approvals and homologations to accurately carry out this (complex) procedure.
The question is whether the system is sufficiently accurate in practice. What do you do with the ‘background pollution’? Furthermore, one can only make correct gas analyses with calibrated equipment that requires a great deal of maintenance and performs regular calibration measurements.
Leefmilieu Brussels hopes to have the data of 150 000 measurements within two months. However, it is still unclear to what degree these will be sufficiently accurate and, by extension, binding for vehicles to be inspected.