Real Driving Emissions (RDE)

Our comprehensive service includes a robust set of test routes spanning the entire range of environmental boundary conditions, ensuring vehicle makers can achieve RDE sign-off with data-driven confidence.

The challenge facing the industry is to ensure that vehicles never exceed the specified limits for NOx and PN under a wide range of environmental conditions.
The three key variables are:

  • Altitude
  • Temperature
  • Driving style

No single RDE test route can cover all these varied conditions, therefore multiple test routes are necessary to ensure overall compliance. In the illustration, a single RDE test is shown as the small vehicle. The final Type Approval test simply has to fall somewhere within the overall measurement zone, however subsequent market surveillance testing (Legislative Package #4) can be conducted anywhere within the envelope of moderate or extended boundary conditions.

In response to this new and evolving challenge, we have developed test routes covering all areas of the RDE measurement space, including extended boundary conditions, using locations across Europe.

Our UK routes, which fall within the moderate boundary conditions, have been verified for Type Approval purposes by the VCA (UK Approvals Body) and RDW (Dutch Approvals Body).

We also help customers by creating RDE test routes local to their manufacturing and development centres,
all around the world.

RDE test routes are characterised by a test duration of between 90 - 120 minutes, comprising clearly defined ratios of urban (up to 60kph), rural (60 – 90kph) and motorway (over 90kph) driving. This is markedly different to other laboratory-based legislative drive cycles, which are usually much shorter in duration.

In total, there are 35 parameters that must be satisfied for each RDE test to be valid. As a result, commensurately detailed test processes and procedures are necessary to ensure test validity – even then, prevailing traffic conditions can still have a strong influence.

We offer: 

1st Package
Development of basic technical test procedure without quantitative requirements

2nd Package
Definition of not-to-exceed (NTE) NOx emission limits applicable to RDE testing

3rd Package
  • PN PEMS testing
  • Vehicle cold start
  • Regeneration events
  • RDE testing for hybrids
  • CoC (Certificate of Conformity)

4th Package
  • In-use-conformity testing by OEMs and authorities
  • Surveillance testing by ‘third party’
  • Modification/corrections to the requirements of the previous packages
  • Advanced Emissions Test Centre (AETC)

    Advanced Emissions Test Centre (AETC) image Our AETC supports the delivery of both standardised legislative drive cycles and the rapidly expanding library of bespoke cycles developed in response to ‘Real Driving Emissions’.

    Featuring cutting edge, 4 wheel drive test equipment.


  • Vehicle Exhaust Emissions Laboratory (VEEL)

    Vehicle Exhaust Emissions Laboratory (VEEL) image We have played an influential role in exhaust emissions development and were the first truly independent emissions test laboratory. We now have ambient emissions capability in the Vehicle Exhaust Emissions Lab (VEEL) and climatic emissions capability in one of our Climatic Wind Tunnels (CWTone).