In this blog post, I wanted to update you on how we’re going to improve emissions testing on diesels (known as PN testing) alongside updates on how we’re better using and sharing our data. We’ll also explain why we’ve paused the roll out of cameras in garages.
Piloting Particulate Number testing
We are working on improving how we do emissions testing on diesels (known as Particulate Number (PN) Testing) will proceed with more pilot work.
Why we’re looking into this
Research conducted by the DfT into the use of PN testing equipment for the MOT concluded that it provided an effective means of identifying removed or damaged DPFs (diesel particulate filters), with significant advantages over current testing methods. We know some countries across Europe already use PN testing during their MOT test, and we’re looking into whether it would be feasible to do that in GB.
Whilst the current diesel emissions test measures the density of the smoke emitted from the vehicle, it doesn’t measure the size or quantity of the particles within that smoke. We now know that these smaller particles are very harmful to us and therefore measuring them will bring both air quality and health benefits.
How the trial will work
We’re working with 10 garages of varying sizes over the next few months to trial a few different models of PN testing equipment. Once we have enough data, we’ll be able to decide whether it is practical to bring this into the MOT, and which PN tester types may be most suitable.
We know garages may have to invest in this equipment, so we want to reassure you that we won’t be making these changes without thorough consideration – and we do understand that uncertainty about dates of first MOT (for example) can affect those investment decisions a garage may make. But it’s important we do what we can to keep everyone safe by improving air quality – and that maximising the value we get from the MOT helps secure its future.
Modernising the MOT
We understand that no matter what happens with the potential MOT modernisation, it will need careful and considerate change management. This will ensure that industry and other stakeholders are properly engaged and involved in future decisions.
DfT are therefore establishing a stakeholder review group that industry trade groups will be involved in to help guide this work if needed. We hope this will be a good way for the ‘voice’ to heard in future changes.
Cameras in garages trial
In my last blog post, I mentioned that we’ve been investigating and trialling the use of connected cameras in garages. This will enable testers to use a device with a camera built in, like a phone or a tablet, to take a photo of the vehicle’s number plate that you’re testing and upload it to MTS.
We had planned to begin the second trial with this new software in May. However, this will now be a bit later as we need to do some enabling security work first. It’s important we make sure MTS is protected against viruses or other bugs that could occur when people are uploading photos – hence this taking a little bit longer. We’ll let you know how this work progresses and when we’ll be rolling out the second phase.
Our latest blog post written by Neil Barlow, DVSA’s Head of Vehicle Policy and Engineering is about our recently published strategy and vision and how we will be working with you to implement it. You can read it on Matters of Testing How our strategy and vision will affect the future of the MOT - Matters of Testing (blog.gov.uk).
Making it easier for customers to know if they have a safety recall on their vehicle
A big piece of work we’ve been developing over the past few months is improving our safety recalls data, and how we communicate this to motorists.
Whilst we currently provide vehicle recalls information on our check MOT history service, this data isn’t real-time. We’ve been working alongside major manufacturers to get real-time updates from them. Using their data, we’ll make improvements to our digital services to make it easier for motorists to see if their vehicle is subject to a safety recall.
We’ll make some further announcements soon. Once this feature is in, we expect more manufacturers will share their data in this way. This will make this increasingly useful until, eventually, we have all manufacturers on-board.
As always, please let us know your thoughts in the comments section and we’ll do our best to come back to any questions you have.