Danish authorities publish a report showing how Opus remote sensing is an efficient solution for identifying heavy-duty trucks for subsequent roadside control by the police.
Opus partner NEQ ApS and the Danish Centre for Environment and Energy (DCE) have conducted a project on control of Selective Catalytic Reduction Systems (SCR-systems) and diesel particle filters (DPF), which was initiated in September 2019 and finalized in January 2020. The project was proposed by The Danish Environmental Protection Agency, Ministry of Environment and Food, the Danish Road Traffic Authority, and the Danish National Police. The project focuses on control of SCR cleaning systems for removal of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the exhaust from heavy-duty trucks and methods for identification of manipulated and defect SCR-systems.
The final report declares:
Gracias al proyecto LIFE GySTRA se ha podido comprobar que existen importantes discrepancias entre las emisiones teóricas que debería tener un vehículo según su etiqueta ambiental y las emisiones que tiene en realidad.
Los resultados de este proyecto pueden tener como consecuencia un cambio en la definición de etiquetas, según apuntan diversos medios.
Las etiquetas ambientales de los vehículos son establecidas por la Dirección General de Tráfico (DGT). Se trata de un sistema de clasificación de vehículos en función de su potencial contaminador. Los criterios para clasificar el parque de vehículos se realizaron dentro del marco de un grupo de trabajo liderado por la DGT y en el que participaron múltiples organismos. Las clasificaciones se establecieron lo mejor posible con los datos disponibles en el año 2011. La clasificación de los vehículos según este protocolo va acompañada de un distintivo visual, una pegatina que debe colocarse de forma clara en el vehículo. Esta etiqueta tiene ahora importante consecuencias, ya que los organismos locales y regionales se ciñen a ella para regular el tráfico y acceso de los vehículos por las vías públicas. De este modo, los vehículos pueden entrar en Zonas de Bajas Emisiones como en Barcelona o Madrid sólo si tienen una etiqueta que represente que el vehículo es suficientemente limpio.
Gracias al proyecto LIFE GySTRA, Opus RSE ha podido comprobar que cuando los vehículos híbridos circulan en modo combustión (no-eléctrico), sus emisiones pueden ser tan altas o mayores que las de los vehículos de combustión tradicionales.
Thanks to the LIFE GySTRA project, Opus RSE has worked with the Spanish Civil Guard to find lorries manipulated on the spot and denounce them. The press release of this police force can be seen here. EUROPOL has also published these results, as the Spanish police have collaborated with authorities in France and the United Kingdom.
Many trucks travelling on European roads may be circulating with their emission control systems disconnected, which implies a massive emission of NOx into the atmosphere. The SCR system is mandatory on Euro 5 and Euro 6 trucks (some Euro 4 also include it). This system neutralizes almost all nitrogen oxides emitted by heavy-duty trucks. However, this system can be disconnected with an emulator that "tricks" the truck.
The Guardia Civil organizes operations in which the Opus Remote Sensing Device is used to remotely measure the actual emissions emitted by each truck. If a vehicle emits high amounts of NOx, a warning is instantly given to the police who stop the truck and inspect it.
The success of these operations has shown that the police finally have a tool that allows them to find manipulated vehicles on the roads on a massive scale. It is hoped that the application of this technology will make it possible to tackle fraud that is currently out of control in Europe.
Opus RSE has been part of the documentary " The asphalt jungle" broadcasted by the first national TV channel in Spain.
The documentary analyzes the new restrictions to the circulation of diesel vehicles in Barcelona and Madrid, which are causing a commotion in the citizens, who now do not know how much longer they will be able to drive their vehicles.
The car is the most important investment of Spanish families, only behind the house. Thousands of families are currently considering what car to buy and how to move around in their city.
The documentary shows one of the RSDs placed in Madrid within the LIFE GYSTRA program, which is measuring the emissions of motor vehicles in the Spanish capital for 2 years.
Each of these devices is placed on the road and, in a matter of a few minutes, begins to measure the exhaust emissions of all vehicles that pass in front of the device autonomously.
In the TV show, broadcasted in prime time, the importance of measuring the real emissions of all vehicles is explained, so as not to continue implementing generalist policies or policies based on theoretical information, which can harm citizens enormously. Highly polluting vehicles can be diesel, petrol, cars or motorcycles. One must have real information in order to legislate.
LIFE GYSTRA and Opus' remote sensing technology make it possible to know the real emissions of the vehicles and provide information that can be easily interpreted by public administrations. Thanks o this, they can regulate traffic in the most efficient and least costly way for the citizen's pocketbook.
Two years after the famous 'Dieselgate', the European Union has found indications that some brands are trying to distort emissions in the most gross way, to avoid new upcoming regulation.
In 2020, the European Union will adopt a new regulation that will set new limits on the pollutants emitted by the vehicles. To this end, the EU is collecting data to establish these limits carefully.
Apparently, manufacturers are modifying the engines of the vehicles that are being tested to make them more dirty. Their objective is to raise the limits the EU will set in 2020. Yeah, it is the same technique as retail stores that raise prices before sales.
According to the Financial Times, the EU has found indications that several manufacturers are involved in this practice and fears that the measurements made so far are already too distorted. Moreover, it looks like there is not a single method as there was in the 'Dieselgate' scandal. For instance, in some hybrid models, the tests have been carried out with the battery almost exhausted, which forces the engine to use more fuel, increasing the emissions. In others, simple tuning have been done to worsen performance, playing with the gears of the car. In a third type of fraud, the mechanism that stops the engine in short stops was deactivated to keep it running.
Again and again it is shown that there can always be pitfalls in controlled tests. The only way to control vehicle emissions is to measure them over their lifetime and under real conditions. That is to say, to monitor the whole European fleet with the RSD systems.