On-road remote sensing data is an increasingly popular source of evaluation information for vehicle inspection/maintenance (I/M) programs. This article conducts one such remote sensing data evaluation for the Atlanta, Georgia, I/Mprogram. The reference method involves comparing emissions differences in I/Mand non-I/Mfleet vehicles with those predicted by a regulatory computer model. Assuming that on-road emissions differences represent observed effectiveness and model-predicted emissions differences represent effectiveness goals, the Atlanta enhanced I/Mprogram appears to be achieving 83% of its targeted emissions reductions. The method compares favorably with other remote sensing evaluation methods in its ability to be applied over time and its relatively small sample size requirement. The chief limitation to the approach is its reliance on a representative non-I/Mfleet, which may differ in characteristics for which controls are difficult to locate. Such potential confounding factors include discrepancies in maintenance trends, socioeconomic conditions, and vehicle quality.
Dehart-Davis, Leisha, Corley, Elizabeth A., & Rodgers, Michael (2002). Evaluating Vehicle Inspection/Maintenance Programs Using Onroad Emissions Data: The Atlanta Reference Method. Evaluation Review, 26(2), 111-144.