The DMCA May Have Allowed Volkswagen To Hide ECU Software From The EPA

A lot of questions have been raised by the recent “dieselgate” scandal. Should automakers be held accountable for ethically questionable actions? Are emissions standards in the United States too restrictive? Are we ever going to stop appending “gate” onto every mildly controversial news story? But, for Hackaday readers, the biggest question is most likely “how did they get away with it?” The answer is probably because of a law a lot of hackers are already familiar with: the DMCA.

If you haven’t seen the news about Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scheme, we’ll get you caught up quickly. In the United States, EPA emissions testing is done in a very specific and predictable way. Using clever ECU software tricks, Volkswagen was able to essentially “detune” the engines of their diesel vehicles when they were being tested by the EPA. This earned them passing marks, while allowing them to provide a less-restrictive ECU profile for the normal driving that buyers would actually experience.

How could they get away with this simple trick when a brief look at the ECU software would have revealed it? Because, they were able to hide under the umbrella of the DMCA. The ECU software is, of course, not intended to be user-accessible, which means that Volkswagen is allowed to lock it down. That, in turn, means that the EPA isn’t allowed to circumvent that security without violating the DMCA and potentially breaking the law. This kept the EPA’s hands tied, and Volkswagen protected. They were only found out because independent testing (that didn’t follow EPA procedure) revealed vastly different emissions levels.

Is your blood boiling yet? Add this to the stack of reasons why the EFF is trying to end the DRM parts of the DMCA.

[via /.]

102 thoughts on “The DMCA May Have Allowed Volkswagen To Hide ECU Software From The EPA

  1. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: did Volkswagen actually break any laws here?

    It’s clear that what they did is morally wrong, but they designed and sold engines that, when run through the EPA test cycle, met the EPA standards. The ECU wasn’t faking the data and the emissions were indeed within specifications. Their engines don’t perform as expected when subjected to a different set of tests in different conditions — but that isn’t what the EPA said the engines had to do. VW met the tests in an inarguably shady way, but that doesn’t change the fact that they followed the letter of the law.

    If I tried to sue VW because I said “well, your car does get 30mpg in the test cycle, but when I drive it on my own cycle I only get 24mpg” I would just be laughed out of court.

    1. It’s an interesting argument, but the the EPA makes the rules. I am not against gaming the system. I think it is a noble cause. But I think they will find their scapegoats, the CEO being the first one, pay a hefty fine and move on.

      The real question is, did the people who didn’t use the EPA method and used real world tests… did they find other manufacturers doing the same thing?

      1. I heard Audi & Skoda brands have been cheating too but as they are owned by VW and have the same engine. I also wonder if this practice is widespread in other manufacturers also. It just goes to show how morally bankrupt corporations are these days they have too much power. If I defrauded someone I would get prison if a corporation does it gets a fine. Look at the HSBC laundering scandal, My government (UK) has put the old head of HSBC in charge of our national broadcaster the BBC.

        I’m Scottish and support Independance from UK however during our referendum the BBC (which is supposedly impartial as it is public funded) went into propoganda mode scareing pensioner’s about losing their pensions. The UK government lied to the Scottish people about changes that would be made if people voted no to independance while the media and big buisness pushed theline for them. Corporations are killing our rights and freedoms, I’m not anti-capitalist I just think companies get to do what ever they like and we have to just accept it.

        1. Please don’t leave Britain. You’d leave us with all the fucking Tory voters. Scotland’s the only hope we have of saving the lives of people who haven’t yet been killed by DWP sanctions. Can an Englishman come and live up there and enjoy the benefits of being Scottish, free education and the like? I won’t mind the weather, I’m from Yorkshire.

          1. yeah aslong as you live here most of the year you get all them things. I know what you mean about bloody tories wrecking the country at the moment, Its a scandal hushed up by the media.

          2. Nice! Thanks! I’ll start practicing my accent, ginger hair dye at the ready! Can I stay at your house while I find a place of my own?

            Seriously I’m considering this. Moved from Bradford, unacknowledged cultural capital of England, to a shitty small town in the South-East. For twice what I paid to rent a full house, I get a tiny flat. And the Scots seem nice.

            Once went to Carlisle with a mate, and got the bus up to Gretna Green just for something to do, and a drink of whisky. In Carlisle the sky was clear, we get into Scotland, and there’s mist so you can’t see your hand in front of your face. Come back to Carlisle, clear again. So it’s true!

            I’ll vote SNP once I’m up there.

        2. That’s because if you go to prison, that’s an inconvenience at most. If a corporation goes to “prison”, that involves millions of people, both working in the company and their customers.

          As much as we’d like to punish corporations for behaving badly, we’d just be punching ourselves in the kidneys by doing so.

          1. The people who actually make decisions in a corporation aren’t millions. They’re the ones responsible, the guy screwing the aircon unit together doesn’t have any say. They’re the ones who can, should, and usually don’t, go to jail.

      2. Is for sure that other brands are doing the same, what it really boild my blod is that for other kind of companys like consumer electronics every time we need to sell something in Germany they use TUV as a fucking bull dog to force us to do things that will over price the products to make them less competitive for the customer, does TUV knows about it? offcourse why nobody from TUV is resigning or in a legal action against the fucking company that certified the cars in germany?

    2. Yes, they did. That’s the reason it’s being called a defeat device. (And digging through, an AECD can be a computer system or part of one.)


      Defeat device means an auxiliary emission control device (AECD) that reduces the effectiveness of the emission control system under conditions which may reasonably be expected to be encountered in normal vehicle operation and use, unless:
      (1) Such conditions are substantially included in the applicable Federal emission test procedure for heavy-duty vehicles and heavy-duty engines described in subpart N of this part;
      (2) The need for the AECD is justified in terms of protecting the vehicle against damage or accident; or
      (3) The AECD does not go beyond the requirements of engine starting.

    3. your missing the point. the EPA standard dictates how much pollution is allowed under “normal condition” the hole point of the the testing cycle is to determine if an engine under said “normal condition” would pass the emission test. what they did is basically circumventing the test cycle by using suboptimal settings allowing the engine to pass the test which is in no way representing normal condition.

    4. I think you’re missing the point. Perhaps it’s where you live.

      I say this because where I live emissions testing is part of vehicle certification. If this crap was detected you could potentially have your vehicle removed from the road, because you don’t meet emissions standards. That kind of crap just doesn’t fly.

      If you’re only arguing against bad testing, that can be cheated, then I can see your point. You technically only need to follow the letter of the law. Except, that’s like getting a UL rating that your final product does not meet. Whenever it is found out that your newest gadget would fail catastrophically you’re culpable for all the results. In this case, it isn’t directly felt so you argue that turning a blind eye is acceptable. What happens when there’s a power surge and your toaster lights the house aflame?

      I’ve got to say your argument is short sighted. This behavior shouldn’t be tolerated anywhere, and the DMCA restrictions on software contributing to it add to the growing pile of concerns that crappy law raises.

        1. FCC Part 15 A stipulates the criminal fines and potential jail time you face for violation.

          UL simply removes your ability to apply the UL mark to the product, opening you up for negligence and liability lawsuits.

          See the difference?

    5. You nailed !!
      But anyone thinks that similar tricks are used not all manufacturers? and because they are so strIct with the NOX and not with CO2 or CO?.
      Of course, when you buy whatever, you expect that the brand will respect the intention of the of the law.

    6. While you hit the nail, it’s one that probably won’t strike true.

      IANAL, but I’ve had to work as a gofer for a few. There is something the lawyers called “intent” where they would research the supporting documents and minutes that led up to the passing of a law.

      To try and explain, a (hypothetical) law might be passed that would not have a specific circumstance covered. Such as the expanded introduction and use of computers to control emmissions in a car whose code would further be hidden behind a DRM clause in the DMCA. Since early cars could not determine test conditions then the obvious outcome would be a car passing smog would also pass smog in the “wild” unless mechanical changes were done, such as using an exhaust dump (bear with my example here. California law governs these as they relate to noise is all I’m aware of). So the intent at this point is obvious. A simple inspection reveals the deviants.

      But when computers get thrown into the mix *after* the law was written, then there is bound to be a clarification since the law assumed the engine couldn’t dynammically adjust emission on the fly. And smog stations are barred from inspecting the source code and I doubt the majority of them would even have the tools or time to do so anyways.

      Arguing a company followed “the letter of the law” ignores the “intent of the law” as well as its historical narrative. In this case, they’ll be made an example of.

      1. Bullshit.

        They may optimize things during testing, e.g. very low µ and very slim tires, turning off everything that’s not required even removing unnecessary stuff from the car. And all do. But VW has ran code that tuned the engine down during testing.

        Imagine, you’re buying a car with 200HP. When doing emissions testing, the software detunes the car down to 100HP, resulting in way less emissions than it would have in normal conditions. This is what VW did.

        1. Fuel economy tests are different from emissions test. They’re done once per car model, and the manufacturers supply the car that is tested. That car can be specifically prepared for the test, including the ECU software and gearbox shift points, and disabling emission controls. Common tricks also include disconnecting the alternator during test, locking the brake cylinders full back so they don’t drag, adjusting the steering angles and suspensions to better roll on the dynamometer… etc. etc. none of which would apply on an actual road vehicle.

          Some have even been caught lying about the specifications (CdA) of the car, so the testing engineers would put less load on the dyno.

          In the EU, vehicle tax in most countries is based on CO2 emissions, so the manufacturers cheat every possible way. The worst offender, Mercedes-Benz, overstates the fuel economy by 50% on some models, and the average is 31%.

    7. It seems pretty obvious that designing the doftware to lower emissions ONLY during tests to measure emissions in normal conditions is deceptive. Other people made good comments so I’ll leave them to that, but I would also consider them guilty of fraud.

      They advertised and sold their vehicles as clean details, with advertised specs emissions, that under normal conditions the vehicles can’t even get CLOSE to. The numbers I have seen say from 15 to 30 TIMES the emissions advertised / allowed. That’s not just being a little dishonest or rounding the numbers up to look better, that’s downright fraud.

      It’s like saying (made up numbers here) “Well, your car says it emits 2m^3 CO2 per 100K driven in the test cycle, but when I drive it on my own cycle I recorded 60m^3 CO2 per 100K”. The difference is quite significant, and if the only reason you bought the damn thing was to help save the environment and such I imagine you’d be quite pissed.

    8. They blatantely lied to officials, and ignored various state laws and lied to their customers about either the performance of their cars or about how clean they are, you decide.

      So yes, they broke the laws.

      And interestingly I see people thinking up all kinds of excuses in comments all over the net, yet VW spokespeople just admit what they did was bad.

      Reminds me of the syrian immigrants, who honestly say they just want a better life and admit they are largely economic migrants, while their fans and the western politicians claim they are fleeing bombs and danger.from the devil in the form of assad.

      Seems you can be honest all you want these days but volunteers will replace your honesty with lies.

  2. I’m beginning to think that maybe Richard Stallman has a point.

    Let’s face it, big companies can afford patents to protect their investment in research, and copyright protects their firmware implementation. Why do they need to hide it?

    Where would we be if Jon Von Neumann had decided to hide the ideas behind the “stored program computer”?

      1. They’re not very different. Apart from rather needlessly separating code from data space. I suppose back in the day when memories were slow, and you stored code on paper tape, a separate code bus made sense. Most PC CPUs now are Von Neumann in theory, somewhat Harvard in practice.

        I dunno the history of their invention, but really Harvard is a variant on Von Neumann.

  3. At the end of the day, Volkswagen is not in the business of building automobiles; much less fuel efficient environmentally friendly automobiles. They are in the business of making money and this was a fairly innovative way to make more of it. (You have no idea how loud that voice in my head is saying “AND BUSINESS IS GOOOOOOOOOD”) I’m certainly surprised more auto manufacturers haven’t been doing this as well. Maybe they just haven’t been caught yet. I think what has most people upset is that we have such a high opinion of our cars and the companies that make them that when something like this happens the feeling of betrayal is hard to shake.

    I agree with macw. They simply found a way to do what they wanted and be able to pass the test. The EPA never required them to continue that tuning profile while on the road. Illegal? Maybe. Wrong? YES. I wonder if a BMW M3 would pass that EPA test when using Launch Control . . . That is a tuning profile intended to produce greater performance. VW simply has a testing profile. The EPA will announce a HUGE fine. VW will issue a contrite press release in a very public way. Then they will quietly appeal the EPA decision. They will negotiate it down to something less than the initial EPA fine and neither the EPA nor VW will speak of it again.

      1. Yes, because those things aren’t mandatory for a car. Of course one would turn off the radio and lights, it’s allowed and legal.

        But tuning the engine down to make it emit 1/20th of what it would emit in normal driving conditions? That’s bullshit. And that’s what VW did.

  4. Unrelated but why is every scandal (at least in the USA) named with the “gate” suffix. In the last year alone we had “Bridgegate” and “Deflategate”, and now “Dieselgate”. I am guessing that it is related to the Watergate scandal, but why is the gate suffix suddenly so popular. Prior to last year I cannot remember any “*gate” scandal except for Watergate.

    1. I’ve seen a lot of deducted information based on what’s tested outside the black box, but not the actual step by step procedure the software takes. Closest I’ve seen is actually derived from the EPA test itself and what it would take for the car to pass.

    2. There is a “box” on diesel engines that burn off extra nox emissions. For that box to work correctly it actually requires unburned diesel. They detuned their engine by pumping more diesel into the engine thus having more unburned diesel going in to that box. So for it to pass the emissions test the fuel economy would go to hell. They didn’t want that.

        1. I think that method would still work because while emissions testing is done on a dyno with the driver’s door open and the steering not being used, the efficiency testing is done by driving the car on a track.

      1. WAT? Nope.Just wrong.

        The “Box” doesn’t require unburned diesel. It uses some special fluid called urea. VW messed with the injection of said fluid. In testing conditions the box was running at “maximum de-NOx” mode to reduce emissions and the engine was detuned. In normal driving conditions the box was running at “less de-NOx” mode to consume less of the fluid.

        1. Nope..Just wrong.
          VW don’t have urea injection on their diesels, that’s why people started looking into it as all of the other car companies had to add it to pass the EPA test. The VW cars turned the car to a lower power mode when the car had the traction control turned off (which is required for when the EPA run the car on the dyno to get the emissions readings).

      2. You’re thinking of the DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter), which occasionally (around every 500 miles or so) requires a 10-15 minute “regen” cycle to burn off the accumulated soot, which uses extra fuel during that time. Doesn’t burn off NOx emissions, that’s done by a reduction catalyst which on most of the 4 cylinder VW diesels (the ones affected by the recall) is a normal reduction catalyst that doesn’t use urea injection.

    3. Daimler invented a box which eliminates a great amount of NOx, but needs some synthetic liquid for that, which must be refilled at every service (15000km or so). But it reduces power and increases your fuel consumption a bit.
      VW wrote a piece of firmware which deactivates this nox killer in normal drive mode to achieve the better specs in power and fuel consumption and activates it during tests.

  5. If anyone knows where I can find charts that show the total pollutant output using more fuel at the more ’emissions friendly’ tuning vs. using less fuel but putting out more of whatever the EPA’s currently complaining about, I’d be interested.

    I assume that manufacturers are going to respond to the needs of their clients: most people want something fuel efficient. Sports vehicles perhaps bias more to a power performance tuning than a fuel performance optimization tuning. The EPA wants to keep whatever they currently claim is bad in check. What’s the overall difference? I’m curious if it’s similar to the problem of fuel with ethanol where you get lower mileage per gallon and have to use more gallons so where’s the breakpoint for which it doesn’t make sense to have ethanol in fuel? That’s if we disregard the environmental and economic costs, plus the damage to engines. I lost a lawnmower that way and hope it’s not killing my car.

    1. afik, ethanol is only a problem with the fuel system, not the engine itself. I’m willing to bet that your mower would run just fine with a new carburetor. if it did kill the engine, it may have been due to the carburetor being tuned for pure gas causing the engine to run lean and overheat. efi cars run just fine on e10 since they are able to adjust the mixture on the fly. still though decreased mileage fucking blows and the only reasons ethanol fuel should exist is if it’s cheap enough to more than offset the mileage penalty and because it’s good for project cars (and at least one of the koenigsegg cars) that run a lot of boost while being cheaper than race gas.

  6. What a piece of clit-baiting speculation! It’s way easier to verify this kind of cheating by a simple test driver rather than reverse-engineering the firmware.

    I don’t defend the DMCA and it could have been used against someone who’d found out about the cheating via RE. But that’s not how it happened. Period. A bit like discussing whether Ahmed could have built a bomb.

    1. 100% correct. Why would the EPA start decompiling firmware? How many µC are in one current VW? Several hundred i would guess… Even looking at commented source code would take prohibitive amounts of time and require quite skilled testers. Those are not Arduinos VW uses, those are highly specific ASICs and FPGAs and mixed ICs, relying on special toolchains, RTOSs, and so on.
      On the other hand you could just tie a HUGE bag to the exhaust, drive a mile and then analyze what’s in that bag, instead of making it easy for them to cheat.

      And to clarify once more: VW used a cheap and small filter instead of a €100,– more expensive one and “compensated” in firmware. That’s plain out fraud. Not a mistake.

      1. So simply demand source-code for EPA certification. The epa compiles and loads the given code and runs the tests.

        They can do this, if car companies whine like babies for giving up the code, then they get NO EPA certification and can only sell the cars for offroad use.

          1. It is probably much harder, and gonna take much longer, to analyse software, than to put a car on a dynamometer and stick a probe into the exhaust, or OBD2 port. You’d also require very talented software engineers, rather than garage mechanics.

            And then that would put the responsibility on the regulators to catch the dodgy code. “YOU passed the code, don’t blame us!”, Volkswagen would say.

            It’s better to test the car as a whole unit. And when cheating is found, punish the shit out of them. Including imprisoning those responsible, however much money they have.

          1. Wouldn’t put it past ’em to start writing the code in Brainfuck. The Obfuscated C Contest produces some utter mind-bending wonders of code each year, I’ve never understood any of them. Even after the explanation I’m still scratching my head.

    2. Of course, but, I know from somebody who works on those engine calibration, that pretty much all the car maker “cheat” on different level with those software, and not only for pollution.
      For example, they can modify the progression line of the accelerator, to give you 80% of the power when the pedal is at 20%. So the car looks like way more powerfull thant it really is.
      That’s not illegal at, but it’s at least, deceptive.
      And they do tons of tricks like this. Even a brief analysis of the software could show us many of those, and get the customers an objective view of what they are buying..
      That would be very interesting.

      1. Pretty much has to be the way. What other options do they do? Fit a properly-sized emissions cleaning unit? Or increasing the urea-dispensing rate? I admit I’m a bit blurry on the implementation, only that the testing-mode was ludicrously low-power, and not a mode that would ever be used in driving. If it’s incapable of meeting emissions standards while driving like a car, what options do they have?

        I can only imagine this is completely and utterly under control of the lawyers and bean-counters, with the actual engineers being instructed to turn as much lead into as much gold as is possible.

        If I was the U of VA, I’d spin their CAFEE unit off quick as possible, cos if they can convince governments to take their solution and ideas, CAFEE are gonna be worth a fortune in a short time.

        Sure the Uni could get some money offering consultancy, but once your clients have stolen your technology, no more consultancy.

  7. Ridiculous. It doesn’t matter one bit that the DMCA makes attempting to reverse engineer the ECU illegal, because the EPA generally lacks the resources to reverse engineer an ECU in the first place.

    Nor do they need to be able to do so to find out if something hokey is going on, as this case with Volkswagen amply demonstrates. They only need to change their testing method.

  8. How is this any different to the sports mode button found in a lot of cars? If the change in engine tuning was button controlled which mode would the emissions have been calculated using?

    1. Read the above comments. If this were button controlled, we’d be talking about a different situation. The whole point is that it’s not: it’s specifically and deliberately designed to defeat the test. Intent matters. Details matter. Context matters.

  9. “The “Box” doesn’t require unburned diesel. It uses some special fluid called urea. VW messed with the injection of said fluid.”

    So what you’re trying to say is , VW were taking the piss … ;)

  10. I wonder why this makes a scandal. That’s basic physic here. Where do you think your gallon of gasoline goes after your 40 miles ?
    You have 1 atom of carbon in, you’ll get 1 atom of carbon out.
    Ideally, you want as less waste as possible, which, for a combustion engine is as much as possible CO2 produced, but that does not work like this, because you never get 100% octane in your fuel and 100% O2 in your air (not even speaking of other contaminant).

    If you think about it, the pollution “standard” are very unrealistic because their “expectations” are close to a perfect combustion cycle (if not better, when speaking of electric/hybrid car).

    1. The standards can’t be that unreasonable, plenty of cars pass them. And as somebody here mentioned before, California has unique weather conditions. I think inversions, or something. They cause smog and pollutants to stick around at ground level a lot more than they would elsewhere.

      1. Oh, and it’s not about carbon in vs carbon out, obviously. It’s about carbon out per mile travelled. AKA efficiency. And then the other stuff that that catalytic convertor catches.

        1. Since my car does not get heavier as times goes on, I guess the amount of carbon emitted is exactly what’s being put in. It can be CO2, it can be long form of carbon-string or any other vicious molecule. The efficiency, for me, is the amount of fuel you put in vs the distance you can travel before running out. It’s not what was measured by EPA (and would be hard to cheat with since any owner would spot it). Same for catalytic stuff, sure it can “catch” some of the bad molecules, but it’ll have to release them somehow (modified, yes, likely). All to say that given the CO2 emission of the car, one can figure out the consumption by basic physics. The “waste” molecules are what is supposed to be measured (and really what could lower efficiency), but IMHO, if the EPA really wanted a 100% reliable test, it would sample catalytic device on real used cars, and measure the dirt in there. Doing a “take this perfect new car for testing” and breathing the a** of it will always lead to such situation. There is no point to debate, almost no diesel engine on the market would produce 0 (or close to 0) waste products, at most, it can survive the first 1000 miles clean (when the catalytic convertor is clean and new), but then, well, it *has* to release its waste somehow. You’ll get NOx and smog and all other stuff because, well, it’s a combustion engine and in the end of any combustion cycle, you get the molecule with the less possible energy. The solution is to find another mean of transportation that does not consume our planet, not to get offended when we’re being told that a polluting engine is actually polluting.

  11. Can we quit putting “gate” behind everything that happens. While I’m in a bad mood, can we also quit calling everything “hacks”. “13 style hacks for your bathroom” are not hacks, they are tips. “8 life hacks you cannot live without” are not hacks!

  12. Bah, this is complete nonsense. DMCA or not, EPA would not have had access to source code. If you think that detecting this kind of functionality in a binary blob is easy – then you obviously have never looked at one of this size. AFAIK the engine control softwares in modern cars are hundreds of thousands or millions of lines of code.

    1. Actually that’s true, DMCA isn’t what prevents you from getting access to any old bit of source code. And even if you had the source code, the expensive and jealously-guarded source code, it’d take a lot more than “a brief look at the ECU software” to ever find that out. For one thing, you’d very likely need to know what you were looking for. And if you knew this feature was there, you could test for it in much more suitable ways, like using more realistic test conditions.

      This story’s nothing to do with the DMCA at all, is it!?!? It’s just a lazy click-baiting excuse to batter 2 buzzwords together!

      Really shabby article, Cameron!

      I haven’t followed the link so I dunno if the EFF have thrown their lot on this bandwagon. If they have, it’s disingenuous publicity-chasing. And the sort of geeks who even know what the EFF is, aren’t going to be fooled by such a weak bit of logic.

  13. If anyone thinks the EPA needs to bypass the DMCA to see code to an ECU that they think is cheating, they’ve lost their mind. They’d certainly not RE it, which would take ages to do.

    Plus the people that found it, found it regardless of the DMCA.

  14. Just accept the amount of lies and misdirection that pass through your senses every day. Companies are powerful, they have a lot of resources. They will figure out how to get a product to you with the highest profit they can get. They will show useless facts to distract you from what their product is lacking. 0 grams trans fat in big bold print to distract you from the garbage that their product is made of. How many times have people told you how many megabytes of internet they’re getting? People scratch their heads when they buy a 1 terabyte hard drive and it shows up as 931 gigabytes. Ever buy 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ ‘s at the hardware store, or did you buy two by fours? How much capacity does your 10000 mah charger actually have? Is your 60″ flat screen really 60″ ? Every big company will find a legitimate way to make you think you’re getting something you’re not. Should we have to do extensive research on the products we buy, how they were made, what they’re made of before buying? In today’s world companies are profiting off of the laziness of the average Joe. Who’s going to look behind the curtain to find the real act, when they’re enjoying the show so much on center stage? What VW did was wrong, but the blood of other companies’ misdeeds is all over products we use every day without even realizing it, they just got caught doing something dirty like some other companies. And just like those companies, they’ll continue to thrive.

  15. as long as the legal test is ON A BENCH which is known, “solutions” to pass this test will be worked out.
    (old nerds may remember compilers from HP at benchmarks)

    the legal test has to be made on arbitrary roads, with arbitrary driver (styles), for a duration of say 5 fuel tanks. The so reached distance at least gives a sensible l/100km (MPG) value. [e.g. I bought my car new 150000km ago and I reliably get more than 1000km out of a 50l diesel refill –> 4.5-5.5 l/100km (53-43 MPG) Factory/catalog rate: 5.2 l/100km (45 MPG)]

    you may guess it: my car comes from the VW consortium: it’s a Skoda Octavia 2 Combi with a 1.9l TDI engine, of course with particle filter.

    About exhaust gas values (CO2, NOx, etc.): now that we have successful autonomous drive systems, let’s just install them onto a pickup also carrying a mobile exhaust gas lab (is the volume of 2-3 pallets enough for such a lab?). This pickup the simply shall closely follow the car under test (within 2m, convoy style), such that tubes fetching all of the exhaust gasses of the car under test can be attached. This way, within the duration of 5 fuel tanks, we also obtain sensible exhaust gas values.

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