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Emissions Inspection Program

23 May 2009 Categories: Remote Diagnostics

Remote Smog Checks

In California, remote smog checks are a reality today for motorists with Networkfleet’s safety and security system.
Car owners can voluntarily enroll in the Continuous Testing Pilot (CTP) program so that they can receive a convenient no cost remote smog check. As long as Networkfleet’s system does not detect an emissions problem, the motorist is not required to take their vehicle to a facility to be inspected.

If Networkfleet’s system does detect an emissions problem, the car owner is notified and they have 45 days to have the problem repaired. If the car owner does not repair the problem in the allotted time period, they are removed from the program and are placed back into the traditional inspection program.
Benefits of Continuous Monitoring

A continuous system automates monitoring, eliminates unneeded physical inspections on clean vehicles and decreases the amount of time consumers would have to spend if a repair were needed. Many other benefits make the technology an attractive alternative for air quality policy makers and consumers.

Immediate Problem Identification Decreases Pollution
Most inspection programs require the test to be completed every two or three years but many states appear to be moving toward extending their initial test on new cars from 3 to 4 or 5 years. If a vehicle develops a problem any time during this period it continues to be driven in a polluting condition since the driver and authorities are not aware of the problem. With remote monitoring, however, the driver is notified immediately to make repairs thus decreasing pollution.
Eliminates Unnecessary Inspections
With remote monitoring technology, car owners are automatically notified if their vehicle fails the emissions test and only need to take their car in for repairs if a problem is detected. In current physical inspection programs, most vehicles pass, making an exception based monitoring and enforcement system a more appropriate and cost effective for consumers and regulators alike.
Eliminates Need for Follow-Up Inspection
After a car owner completes repairs there is no need for a second physical inspection since the system dynamically detects whether or not the vehicle is back in compliance.
Immediate Repairs Less Costly than Deferred Repairs
If a car owner unknowingly drives for several years with an undetected emissions problem, the problem could impact other vehicle subsystems leading to larger repair bills. Also, an emissions problem that is not promptly detected could lead to hidden costs like higher fuel expenditures.
No Conflict of Interest
There is no conflict of interest in implementing this system since it is independent of the vehicle manufacturer, inspection facilities and repair facilities. The vehicle is communicating the same emissions status as would be discovered through a physical inspection.
Voluntary Participation Alleviates Privacy Issues
By making the program voluntary, for the general population, privacy issues can be addressed. For gross polluters, such as taxis or high mileage vehicles, mandatory continuous monitoring and repair may be more appropriate.
Clearly Communicates the Nature of the Problem
In contrast to the in-vehicle warning icon and light that causes much confusion to drivers, the continuous monitoring system has the advantage of using e-mails and a website to clearly explain the nature of the problem. These messages are easy to modify for purposes such as official warning notifications.
Tamper and Fraud Resistant
The device is installed behind the OBD-II port and is hidden from view under the dash so that it would be difficult to locate or remove. The system remotely detects if a unit has been unplugged. Specifically, by examining the number of resets and successful data reads it would be possible to determine if tampering had occurred. The car itself notifies the oversight agency of its status, not an inspection facility operator who might be tempted to falsify the result to receive a fee for a second inspection.
Easy Integration with Existing I/M Program Administration Systems
The dynamically collected data can be easily accessed by agencies through use of Web Services and XML technologies. The highly sophisticated database design gives agencies flexibility to design programs customized to their needs. This streamlines administrative operations for I/M programs.

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