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Remote Measurement of Vehicle Emissions at Low Cost

European Union
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Vehicle design and manufacturing (VDM)
Transport mode
Road icon
Transport policies
Environmental/Emissions aspects
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

Gaseous emissions from motor vehicles such as carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and unburned or partially burned hydrocarbons (CH) have significant detrimental effects on air quality especially in urban areas. Studies have linked poor air quality with a rise in respiratory diseases and other health problems. A number of approaches are being used to curb vehicle emissions, primarily by reducing vehicle usage and by the introduction of improved engines. To assess the effect of these emission reduction measures, it is necessary to have base-line measurements of real-world vehicle emissions, that is from in-service vehicles under normal operation.

  • Identification of appropriate spectroscopic/measurement and data handling approaches for emissions measurement in a range of user-driven applications for remote sensing
  • Provision of theoretical foundations for the remote optical measurement of emissions in order to obtain a predictive understand of the limits of performance of such devices
  • Design, Construction and testing of prototype instruments taking into account the requirements for low-cost solutions
  • Demonstration of proof of concept of the selected measurement strategies for the identified applications
  • Validation of performance of the instrumentation and determination of best practice in making emissions measurements

The project has produced measurement protocols, comparative studies of different instruments, and validated emissions data. European studies of emissions measurements linked to parameters such as vehicle type, age and driving condition have been undertaken and are available for the use of both policy makers and researchers. The prospects for remote sensing instruments providing public information have also been investigated, with the aim of reinforcing individual motorist responsibility for their vehicle emissions.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy and Transport (DG TREN)
Type of funding
Public (EU)


  • The field trial results show the promising potential of the method. It is possible to conclude that REVEAL is suitable to monitor overall “car fleet emissions”.
  • The results illustrate that REVEAL is especially relevant for monitoring the impact of (urban) traffic management on emissions and also to identify “gross polluters”.
  • REVEAL can rank vehicles in order of increasing emissions.
  • The present REVEAL prototypes are more suitable for gasoline- than for diesel- fuelled vehicles, because of the high resolving power of the CO measurement and of the poor resolution for smoke emissions. 
  • The application of REVEAL in public off-road locations such as petrol station forecourts is technically feasible and gives valuable qualitative results.


Technical Implications

Much further development and product engineering work can be undertaken, not only by the REVEAL partners but also by other commercial developers and suppliers of RSD technology. In this context the collected data both from field trials already undertaken and from future trials will continue to be analysed to improve the instrument and product(s).

Policy implications

The REVEAL partners are currently in the process of commercialising REVEAL product; further information can be obtained through Golden River Traffic Ltd, Bicester, UK - a supplier of roadside equipment installed worldwide.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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