October 16, 2019: PEMSWALL press conference, Namur

Real-time measurement of vehicle emissions: a Walloon first.

Namur, October 16, 2019

4 years after Dieselgate, the Institut Scientifique de Service Public (ISSeP) is testing for the first time a new tool for checking vehicle emissions under real driving conditions. A remote sensing system, coupled with cameras that detect the technical specificities of the vehicles inspected, was presented to the new Walloon Minister for the Environment, who welcomed this new step in the development of Walloon air quality expertise.

Between October 15 and 17, in partnership with the VUB and UCL, real-time measurement sessions of vehicle emissions are being organized on several Namur roads. This study is part of a research project called PEMSWALL (Prospection des Emissions des Moteurs automobiles Sur les routes Wallonnes), initiated by ISSeP at the time of “dieselgate”, but which is now showing its worth.

It’s an exceptional device featuring remote sensing, a first in Wallonia. This equipment measures, at a certain distance and in real time, the pollutant emissions of vehicles passing in front of it. In addition, the mobile PEMS (Portable Emissions Measurement System) laboratory will check the accuracy of exhaust gas measurements (CO, CO2, NOx, CxHy, particulates, etc.) and a radar will record speed.

At the same time, ANPR-type cameras are installed to take photos of the license plates of the vehicles being measured, and then query the DIV database for their technical specifications (model, engine capacity, etc.).

By making the link with the DIV database, it is then possible to find out the EURO class and make of the vehicle, and thus check that manufacturers’ environmental requirements are in line with reality.

This test covers :

  • Category M1 vehicles (passenger cars with up to 8+1 seats),
  • Category N1 vehicles (commercial vehicles weighing less than 3.5 tonnes) approved as of January 1, 2019
  • Heavy goods vehicles

Céline Tellier, Walloon Minister for the Environment, is delighted with this new measuring instrument: ” Today, 4 years after Dieselgate, I’m pleased to see that Wallonia is giving itself the means to measure automobile pollution more easily and thus better protect everyone’s health.

Finally, this new mobile measuring instrument is an inspiring pilot project for the future test bench which will be operational within 2 years in Colfontaine.

For the time being, the test measurements carried out in Namur will serve only to test the tool and begin to objectivize the differences between the manufacturer’s standards and actual emissions.