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Ricardo’s real-world vehicle emission database reaches a million vehicle measurements

24 Nov 2023

Deploying the latest remote sensing technology, Ricardo’s vehicle emissions database team has surpassed a million on-road vehicle measurements – making the database the largest UK resource of its type. These unique data provide insights into an unparalleled range of vehicle manufacturer fleets and a wide range of locations, weather, and road conditions under which the measurements were sampled. These measurements have been carefully matched with vehicle data, including individual vehicle mileage, to provide an unprecedented level of insight into real-world driving emissions.

The database provides insights into the true nature of vehicle emissions, considering differences between fuels, technologies, driving conditions, vehicle age/deterioration and environmental effects that include ambient temperature and road gradient. The data covers all main vehicle types such as motorcycles, passenger cars, vans, taxis, buses and heavy goods vehicles. There are over 70 vehicle manufacturers present in the database with numerous individual vehicle models.

Using these data, Ricardo is supporting regulators and the automotive industry, to better understand road transport emissions and to inform evidence-based air pollution mitigation action. For regulators these data provide essential information necessary for the development of effective and proportionate air quality management strategies such as Clean Air Zones. Automotive manufacturers are using the data to evaluate the contribution of their vehicle fleets to urban emissions under real driving conditions, providing a granularity of information at manufacturer and model level never previously available.

Ricardo has published numerous technical insights and analyses from our emissions research. These include thoughts on how vehicle age and mileage impact emissions, how colder winters affect air quality and an exploration of what the data teach us about the removal of diesel particulate filters within the UK’s vehicle fleet. A wide range of peer-reviewed journal publications have also been written in collaboration with the Department of Chemistry at the University of York.

As a world leading authority on air pollution and emissions, Ricardo is uniquely placed to offer all major methods of measuring vehicle exhaust emissions: 
•    rolling road, 
•    PEMS and 
•    remote sensing of vehicle emissions. 

Our specialist team provides support on all aspects of air quality management – from evidence base development, through air pollution measurement, modelling and emissions assessments, to the development of evidence-based policy, strategy and air quality management plans at local, regional, and national scales.

For more information about Ricardo’s real-world emissions database, get in touch. We would welcome the opportunity to explore how our team of air pollution and automotive emissions engineers might support your organisation in delivering a cleaner, safer world.

David Carslaw

David Carslaw

Insight