On-road remote sensing measurements of air pollutant exhaust emissions from vehicles in London

On-road remote sensing measurements of air pollutant exhaust emissions from vehicles in London

Ricardo's Dr. David Carslaw is leading remote sensing measurements of vehicle emissions in London as part of The Real Urban Emissions Initiative (TRUE) - established by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT)  

Along with the FIA Foundation, Global NCAP, Emissions Analytics, Transport and Environment and the C40 Cities, the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) has established The Real Urban Emissions Initiative (TRUE). The TRUE initiative seeks to supply cities with data regarding the real-world emissions of their vehicle fleets and equip them with technical information that can be used for strategic decision-making.

In support of this objective, the ICCT has decided to conduct on-road remote sensing measurements of air pollutant exhaust emissions from light-duty vehicles in the city of London.

The ICCT has decided to award the contract to deliver this study to Opus RSE in partnership with Ricardo Energy & Environment and the University of York.

OPUS RSE is the only ISO 17025 accredited remote sensing laboratory in the world. It uses a patented AccuScan™ RSD (Remote Sensing Device) technology, an innovative and validated system, designed for the measurement of actual on-road emissions of CO2, CO, NO, NO2, HC and PM from vehicles.

The experiments are led by Dr. David Carslaw, of Ricardo Energy & Environment and the Department of Chemistry at the University of York. David has over 10 years of experience in this technology and has led several vehicle emission campaigns in the UK. Ricardo is the UK’s leading provider of air quality management services, advising both public and private sector clients on their air pollution problems.

A cleaner air for London

London has already exceeded the European Union’s Limit Values for nitrogen dioxide concentration (NO2) this year. NO2 pollution comes from a variety of sources, but the primary culprit in urban areas of  the UK is internal combustion engine vehicles. 

Vehicle emission remote sensing empirical data on the actual on-road emissions of each vehicle that passes by the measurement location.  In less than 1 second, the emissions of a vehicle are measured along with associated information that includes type of vehicle, type of fuel and a variety of other vehicle technical data. The RSD permits quick, easy and unobtrusive deployment at the road side.

Efficient mobility policies

The European Union recommends RSD technology use in the new legislation (Directive 2010/47/EU) to monitor real emissions during the life cycle of vehicles in use. RSD information, based on real data, enables coordination of initiatives to reduce pollution. Instead of generic policies, that are based on theoretical estimations of fleet emissions, RSD can identify in real-time vehicles with high emissions. This avoids inefficient policies against combustion engine vehicles, allowing more focused and fair action on the most polluting vehicles.

This project will support London in its quest to be recognized as a leading city in sustainable mobility, generating positive direct impacts on citizens’ health and savings in fuel consumption, health, cleanliness and energy.

Find out more about how Ricardo is helping to policy makers to use real-world driving emissions to develop effective pollution mitigation strategies.