Transportation


Surface Transport Controls

Technical Applications

Summary

Surface transportation controls span such applications as microprocessor based emissions control systems for monitoring and controlling engine performance to reduce emissions and optimize engine performance to the myriad components that would be essential to attain an intelligent vehicle highway system.

Characteristics

A critical examination of the emissions control application suggests that these systems may operate effectively for much of a vehicles useful life, but ultimately, many of these systems may degrade and exhibit highly variable behavior that is accompanied by gross emissions of hydrocarbons, CO, and NOx. Thus, the issue is not to develop systems whose performance when new is exemplary. Rather, it is to develop reliable maintenance free emission control systems that will operate at close to new car levels when a vehicle is well past 100,000 miles and into its third, fourth, or fifth level of ownership. This remains a major challenge, particularly if years of neglect and poor maintenance are considered. In general, it seems plausible to think that reliable emission control systems for exhaust and evaporative emissions hold the key to reducing urban emissions and ozone formation in many areas, particularly in California, where 40 percent of vehicles have more than 100,000 miles on their odometer. The United States is pre- eminent in this technology area, driven by our commitment to clean air.