Automotive emissions control technologies have the potential to greatly reduce the impact of combustion-based transport. However most of them, even when programmed for full effectiveness by the vehicle manufacturer, are affected by the risk of vehicle owners modifying or suppressing them for many reasons.
Three way catalysts (TWC) systems in gasoline and natural gas vehicles, Diesel particle filters (DPF), Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) systems have been tampered with since many years because they can limit engine power, create maintenance problems, increase the consumption of fuel or simply because of the high cost of their replacement when they reach the end of their useful life or in case of malfunction. More recently, tampering has also become widespread on Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems, particularly for heavy duty vehicles, as the urea-based liquid needed for their functioning is an additional cost for the operator. Finally there are systems providing a remapping of the engine control to increase power and this often leads to strong increases in emissions. For each of these issues there are do-it-yourself as well as 'professional' solutions offered by private enterprises, often on the internet.
In addition, there are also concerns that On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) systems, that are intended to signal to the user when the after-treatment system is not working properly, are not always properly functioning and this facilitates tampering while allowing environmentally-damaging component aging or failure to go undetected.
Tampering also exist for other important devices, such as tachographs or alcolocks. At the same time, automotive-type de-pollution technologies are applied in other sectors, such as rail, inland navigation, generators, earth-moving machinery, etc and any anti-tampering solution would also be relevant for these applications. In addition synergies can be sought with cybersecurity efforts in other domains.
The challenge is to ensure that all the above mentioned systems cannot be bypassed or modified and therefore maintain their full operational capability through the life of the vehicle, and to provide input to any legislative initiatives that might be needed to improve the implementation of protection systems and the repression of tampering devices in the field.Scope:
Proposals will have to address all the following technical areas:
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 3 and 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.Expected Impact:
The developed solutions contribute to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), in particular SDG 3 ("Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages") and 11 (“Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”) since they will reduce vehicle emissions by implementing more effective OBD/OBM systems that guarantee that end users are informed timely of any emissions affecting malfunction or tampering and strong inducements (performance limitation) are applied in case of severe emissions increases. This extremely high resistance to hardware and software tampering will ensure a strong reduction or the total elimination of this phenomenon.
These impacts shall be demonstrated by tampering attempts developed by independent teams and by the implantation of artificial defects on the different depollution systems followed by verification of their detection in laboratory test conditions as well as in real driving.
Support for improved future legislative and standardisation actions.