Novel approach for connecting real driving emissions to the European vehicle laboratorial certification test procedure

  • Roberto A. VarellaEmail author
  • João P. Ribau
  • Patrícia C. Baptista
  • Luis Sousa
  • Gonçalo O. Duarte
Research Article


Vehicle emission certification is evaluated under laboratorial conditions, where vehicles perform a standard driving cycle in controlled conditions leading to several critics, which have resulted in the implementation of the Worldwide harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) and the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) testing procedure, as a complementary certification procedure. RDE is still under debate since boundary conditions; evaluation and trip selection methods are still being studied to allow test reproducibility. Currently, the official data analysis method uses the moving average window (MAW_EC), based on the WLTP CO2 emissions for trip validity evaluation (RDE package 4) and emissions (RDE package 3). However, this does not consider the impact of vehicle dynamics. Consequently, this work focuses on developing a novel method to relate certification driving cycle dynamics and on-road test vehicle dynamics, to evaluate RDE tests fuel use and exhaust emissions in a comparable way to certification driving cycles, indicating how close, or far, real-world driving is from the laboratorial certification test. For this, a new method was developed called road vehicle evaluation method (ROVET), which relies on the cycle vehicle dynamic and on-road trip dynamics for assessing if both tests are comparable. Results from 5 measured vehicles with a portable emissions measurement system (PEMS) through reproducibility tests and 2 case studies, show that the ROVET provides results closer to the certification calculated reference than the most commonly used method in Europe (1% avg. difference for ROVET while 8% avg. difference for MAW_EC, regarding CO2 emission, for example). The use of vehicle dynamics on construction and references of a method could be used to incentivize the regulators to review the references used by the current used methods, which suffers several criticisms since their release. As the regulated methods are in constant update, this study could be useful for helping to improve or to be used as additional method for future vehicle certification procedures.

Graphical abstract


Real driving emissions Portable emissions measurement system Vehicle certification Data evaluation method 



Acceleration [m/s2]


Compression ignition


Carbon monoxide


Carbon dioxide


Diesel oxidation catalytic converter


Diesel particulate filter


European Commission


United States Environmental Protection Agency


EPA Federal Test Procedure


Global Positioning System


Road slope




Heavy-duty vehicles


Internal combustion engine


In-service conformity


Instituto Superior Técnico Portable Emission Measurement System


Joint Research Center


Light-duty vehicle


Moving average window


Motor vehicle emissions simulator


Multi point fuel injection


New European Driving Cycle


Nitrogen oxide


Nitrogen dioxide


Nitrogen oxides




Power binning


Portable emissions measurement system


Real driving emissions


Road vehicle evaluation method


Spark ignition


Specific standardized power frequency


Three-way catalytic converter


United Nations Economic Commission for Europe


Speed [m/s]


Vehicle specific energy


Vehicle specific power


Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Cycle


Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure



Acknowledgments are to the National Council of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq–Brazil) for the Doctoral financial support of Roberto Aliandro Varella (202097/2014-5). Patrícia C. Baptista acknowledges Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia for financing her contract (CEECIND/02589/2017).

Funding information

This study is funded by the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia for IN+ Strategic Project UID/EEA/50009/2013 and project UID/EMS/00712/2013. This study is funded by the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia for IN+ Strategic Project UID/EEA 50009/2019 and IDMEC, under LAETA, project UID/EMS/00712/2019.

Compliance with ethical standards


The opinions expressed in this manuscript are those of the authors and should in no way be considered to represent official opinion of the AVL company.

Supplementary material


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberto A. Varella
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • João P. Ribau
    • 3
  • Patrícia C. Baptista
    • 4
  • Luis Sousa
    • 5
  • Gonçalo O. Duarte
    • 4
    • 6
  1. 1.Mechanical Engineering Department-Instituto Superior Técnico (IST)Universidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.AVL MTC Motortestcenter ABHaningeSweden
  3. 3.Intelligent & Digital Systems, R&DiInstituto de Soldadura e QualidadeOeirasPortugal
  4. 4.IN+, Center for Innovation, Technology and Policy Research–Instituto Superior TécnicoUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  5. 5.LAETA, IDMEC–Instituto Superior TécnicoUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  6. 6.Mechanical Engineering Department-Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa (ISEL)LisbonPortugal

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