Remote sensing can identify the worst polluting vehicles circulating in urban areas, enabling government agencies to target only those that cause the biggest problems for air quality. Deploying a set of RSDs all across the urban area in an itinerant scheme, authorities can issue notices of violation, requiring the worst polluting vehicles to return for re-inspection at an inspection station, excluding them from low emission zones or immediately pulling them over for a hands on roadside inspection.
Very few vehicles are responsible for most of the polluting emissions from road traffic. Our studies show that only 5% of the circulating fleet are responsible for up to 59% of total emissions caused by road traffic.
How is it done?
A "High Emitter Identification Program" is a program that is established in a given region to identify the worst polluters and take some action on them. Generally, and for legal protection of the vehicle owner, the identification of these vehicles is not punitive, but helps the Authorities to notify the vehicle owner to perform an extraordinary check of his/her vehicle, a practice that is usually contemplated in most international traffic regulations.
The sequence showed above is explained below:
Some success stories
Without a doubt, the most successful high-emitter identification programs are in the United States, where Opus has been conducting large-scale programs for decades.
These programs have evolved to identify not only the most polluting but also the cleanest vehicles. We call this activity "Clean Screening".
Clean Screen offers owners of the lowest polluting vehicles exemption from their next station-based emission test.
Vehicles identified as clean on the road by an RSD then get a Clean Screen notice in the mail. All they need to do is pay the test fees - and they are done. There's no need to visit an inspection station.