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Remote sensing devices (RSD) are used to measure 'real world' emissions from motor vehicles. Roadside remote sensing is useful for identifying and assessing the key trends that influence the emissions performance of vehicle fleets. Regular monitoring highlights critical or emerging trends that may require future policy interventions.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, along with Auckland Council and the Ministry of Transport, have been using remote sensing devices to measure emissions of the light duty vehicle fleet in Auckland since 2003. Two roadside sites, in Auckland and Christchurch, were used as case studies to assess the trends in roadside air quality monitoring from 2003 to 2014. Two pollutants were chosen as tracers of vehicle emissions: carbon monoxide (CO) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx). The latest study in 2015 used a roadside RSD to measure vehicle emissions from about 38,600 light-duty vehicles and 630 heavy-duty vehicles on Auckland roads. This study was a continuation of earlier RSD campaigns conducted in Auckland in 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2011. 

All data collected so far have been collated into an on-road vehicle emission database that is publicly available from NIWA ( All reports can be accessed below.

For further information contact