UC Riverside gets $2M to Assess Environmental Impact of Goods Movement in Inland Southern California

By: Sharjeel Sohaib


Oct 1, 2021


UC Riverside

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The Attorney General’s Automobile Emissions Research and Technology Fund awarded $2 million to the University of California, Riverside. UCR will use the grant to study the impact of the industrial goods movement on the air quality of the Inland Empire.

The Defeat Devices by Volkswagen

The funding for this grant has an interesting history. It was in 2016 that California sued Volkswagen for using “defeat devices.” Essentially, the devices allowed cars to recognize when they were undergoing emissions testing and switched them into lower-operation modes.

The company admitted that 11 million of its vehicles were equipped with software that was used to cheat on emissions tests, reported the New York Times. 

It was in May 2014 that researchers revealed the results of WV’s on-road testing. It showed 40 times the pollution these cars emitted compared to when they were tested for emissions. Somehow the car manufacturer managed to reduce emissions during the testing phase.

Defeat Devices
Source: New York Times

Various models of Volkswagen were fitted with the software technology that suppressed the cars’ emissions during testing. From Jetta and Beetle to Passat and A3,

As part of the settlement, the company agreed to provide funds to improve the state’s capacity to fund research.

UCR’s Active Role in the Local Innovation Ecosystem

UCR plays an important role in helping inventors, entrepreneurs, and students to benefit from each other. We reported that UCR obtained $900K in funding for the deserving, and ExCITE Riverside is one among them.

It also holds a Riverside-based startup angel investment summit called the Angel Summit 2021.

The UCR reported that “the Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology, or CE-CERT, will lead this project, as part of its overall OMEGA Initiative: Objective Measurement/Monitoring/Mitigation of Emissions from Goods Movement and Impacts on Air Quality.” 

Holly Ober, UCR

“This research initiative is critical to our local community as our region continues to grow,” said CE-CERT director Matthew Barth. “These funds help us kick off our multiyear OMEGA initiative, where we get to apply our latest research and technology to improve the environment we live in.”

CE-CERT director Matthew Barth.

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