The test procedure and configuration of test cycles have a decisive influence on the exhaust emissions when certifying a vehicle. The test
cycle should be reasonably representative of the driving behaviour encountered in practice.
This has led to the parallel development of test cycles in the USA, Europe and Japan. The test cycles of these triad markets have been used for the type approval of vehicles in almost unchanged form since the mid-seventies.
Moreover, numerous additional test cycles have recently made an appearance which claim to be even more representative of actual driving behaviour in the various countries.
This presentation will describe and compare the variety of test cycles currently being created and already in use. It will also subject the appropriateness of searching for the "most realistic" test cycle to a critical examination.
The topic of test cycles which are recognised and used worldwide is to be considered by the WLTP sub-group at GRPE in Geneva from 2005, as part of the global harmonisation effort. Preparations for the inclusion of WLTP in the first-priority list for the formulation of a GTR have been initiated by the Worldwide Automobile Association OICA and are described. It is not expected that this complex undertaking will arrive at a valid GTR before 2011 to 2013.
The objective for all concerned should be to develop a standard worldwide test cycle in order to simplify and reduce the costs of exhaust emission and fuel consumption tests, type approval and car check-ups for the automobile industry, the authorities and the customer – as has already been demonstrated by the commercial vehicle working group WHDC within GRPE.
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