The first scheme in Scotland to use NASA technology to monitor vehicle emissions has been launched.

The Vehicle Emissions Partnership, which is made up of West Lothian, East Lothian, Midlothian and Falkirk councils, aims to reduce harmful vehicle emissions by educating drivers about the impact their cars have on of air pollution.

They have undertaken a pilot scheme using state-of the-art remote detection Emissions Detecting and Reporting (EDAR) technology in sites in Edinburgh, Broxburn in West Lothian and are assisting with set up in Coatbridge in North Lanarkshire.

EDAR uses satellite and laser technology to give a true picture of vehicle emissions, as well as recording license plate, speed, acceleration and temperature of the exhaust.

Information recorded during the pilot will be shared between the local authorities involved, and Scottish Government agencies such as Transport Scotland and SEPA. Funding for the pilot project has been provided by the Scottish Government.

Tom Burr from the Vehicle Emissions Partnership said: “We hope this EDAR pilot scheme will assess the benefits of the technology to help demonstrate to drivers the emissions emitted by their vehicles, and make them consider the impact of their actions on the environment.

“Vehicle emissions data will be collected for every car which passes under the EDAR equipment during the trial in Edinburgh, West Lothian and North Lanarkshire.

“This will provide a huge amount of raw data to help councils and agencies looking at areas such as fleet analysis, modelling and public awareness, helping inform plans to tackle the issues associated with vehicle emissions in the future.”

The EDAR system has been developed by ex-NASA scientist and EDAR inventor, Dr. Stewart Hager. His firm Hager Environmental and Atmospheric Technologies (HEAT) have already successfully used EDAR in America and England.

EDAR contains a multi-patented system of hardware and software, which allows for a multi spectral 3-dimensional image of the entire exhaust plume of a moving vehicle. The unmanned system collects data on various gases such as CO, CO2, NOx, HC and PM.

Specialist temporary installation of the EDAR equipment has been carried out by Lochwynd.