Volkswagen was cheating emission tests for years. A laser based camera could have spotted the dangerously polluting cars.
Catching Volkswagen violating emissions requirements in 11 million diesel cars required elaborate testing. A laser based camera system developed by an American company Hager Environmental & Atmospheric Technologies (HEAT) could have spotted the problematic Volkswagen cars in flowing traffic.
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HEAT's EDAR system looks like a speed radar box. It is a laser-based system installed on poles above main highways scanning down on the roadway capturing emissions data of vehicles passing underneath the unit in real time.
The EDAR system can detect abnormalities in emissions testing, otherwise not caught in a laboratory setting due to smart software developed by car manufacturers.
EDAR contains a multi-patented system of hardware and software, which allows for a multi spectral 3-dimensional image of the entire exhaust plume of a moving vehicle. The technology is designed to collect data on various gases (CO, CO2, NOx, HC and PM) as part of an unmanned system. The EDAR laser-based technology is combined with still/scene camera technology and a license plate recognition camera, all of which allows for the capture of not only a 2D image of the vehicle as it passes below the EDAR unit, but also a 3D multi spectral image of the entire exhaust plume and the identification of the subject vehicle.
It is on the governments to deploy systems like EDAR to make sure no car driving on streets is polluting the environment more than allowed. This would also catch all car owners that have chip-tuned their car to gain more performance.
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Hager Environmental & Atmospheric Technologies, LLC was founded in 2009 by J. Stewart Hager, PhD Molecular Physics. More details about the remote sensing emission detector technology can be found here.