Real Driving Emissions Test

Real driving emission (RDE) tests will measure the pollutants, such as NOx, emitted by cars while driven on the road.

RDE will not replace laboratory tests, such as the current NEDC and the future WLTP, but it will be complementary to them. RDE will serve to confirm the results of the lab tests and will ensure that cars deliver low pollutant emissions, not only in the laboratory but also on the road. Europe will be the first region in the world to introduce such on-the-road testing, marking a major leap in the testing of car emissions.

Under RDE, a car will be driven on public roads and exposed to a wide range of different conditions. Specific equipment installed on the vehicle will collect data to verify that legislative caps for pollutants such as NOx are not exceeded. Driving conditions will include:

  • low and high altitudes
  • year-round temperatures
  • additional vehicle payload
  • up- and down-hill driving
  • urban roads (low speed)
  • rural roads (medium speed)
  • motorways (high speed)

Even though RDE will require manufacturers to make major investments in developing new vehicles and updating their testing facilities, the automobile industry agrees that the new RDE test is needed to confirm the results of the lab tests and to ensure that cars meet specified limits once on the roads.


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