New device enables immediate traffic emissions monitoring
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has together with a European research consortium developed a new remote measurement device that measures emissions of vehicles. This accurate device, named REVEAL, can be placed by the roadside where it measures directly the exhaust emissions of the passing vehicles. The device simultaneously records the "high polluters" license number and passes on the information to the system operator, or potentially to the driver. Repair of defective engines improves the air quality and diminishes detrimental effects on the environment significantly. The REVEAL device, developed and validated as a collaboration between several European research organizations and companies, has been tested in a number of different European metropolitan areas.
VTT's Senior Research Scientist, Markku Känsäkoski says that this remote measurement device, developed with the help of EU financing, is more accurate and less expensive than the devices in the market at the moment that are mainly used in the USA . The measurement is based on optically measurable changes that are caused by the exhaust gas in an infrared beam that is sent across the road.
According to the Professor of Transportation Economics, Pia Koskenoja, from the Tampere University of Technology, the regulatory authorities are in need of new tools in order to find vehicles that are major polluters until reliable exhaust analyzers (so called On-Board Diagnostics, or OBD) are integrated as part of all vehicles.
Owners of the vehicles become more concerned about emissions if they know that their cars are being constantly monitored while in use. Deploying the REVEAL device, a person who drives constantly with a highly polluting vehicle runs a greater risk of getting caught. Following the policy implemented in the United States, authorities could also reward vehicle owners with lower emissions by giving them discount on e.g. road taxes or exempting them from paying for the emissions part of the periodic inspection tests.
The development work was supported as part of the EU's Fifth Framework Competitive and Sustainable Growth programme. Technology organisations VTT (Oulu, Finland) and Sira (Chislehurst, UK) who collaborated on the REVEAL development have both applied for international patents to protect the innovative technology, and are working on setting up licensing agreements for manufacture and distribution of the measurement device.
Additional information: www.sira.co.uk/reveal
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