Putting cars through their paces

Putting cars through their paces

Staff from key central government agencies and the regional council took the opportunity to see NIWA’s remote sensing of vehicle emissions in operation.

NIWA recently measured the exhaust emissions of almost 10 000 vehicles in Wellington.

The remote sensing technology owned by NIWA measures the emissions in real life driving situations. Drivers do not have to alter their speed or route. Vehicle exhaust emissions are detected using beams of light, and the driver is given instant feedback via a display screen which rates the emissions as poor, fair, or good. The equipment records the car registration number so scientists can analyse any links between emissions quality and the characteristics of the vehicle fleet such as vehicle age, fuel type, and distance travelled.

The data will feed into a wider project on air quality to help local councils implement and achieve national environmental standards introduced by the Ministry for the Environment last October. The research is funded by the Foundation for Research, Science & Technology.

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