Heavy Duty Truck and Bus Surveillance Program (TBSP) 

This page last reviewed October 16, 2017

Background and Objective

The Air Resources Board (ARB) conducts a variety of vehicle emissions testing programs to better understand vehicle emissions and their impact on air quality, climate change, and public health.  Beginning in January 2016, ARB has begun a Truck and Bus Surveillance Program to evaluate the emissions from a range of in-use heavy-duty vehicles.   This program is being conducted using a heavy-duty chassis dynamometer to test trucks and buses with gross vehicle weight ratings between 14,000 and 80,000 lbs.   Testing is being conducted at ARB’s heavy-duty testing facility located at Depot Park in Sacramento, California.

This testing program is modeled after ARB’s In-Use Vehicle Surveillance Program (VSP), which has been measuring emissions from privately-owned light-duty vehicles for over 20 years.   The primary objective of surveillance programs is to determine a “snapshot” of the emissions from the statewide fleet.  The Truck and Bus Surveillance Program specifically will assess the real-world effectiveness of heavy-duty vehicle emission control systems, such as diesel particulate filters and selective catalytic reduction systems.  With this type of information, more cost-effective regulations and strategies for reducing heavy-duty truck emissions can be developed.

Vehicles and Testing Details

During the 2016 and 2017 calendar years, ARB is soliciting rental of test vehicles with 2010 model year and newer engines that were carefully selected to represent a variety of heavy-duty vehicles operating in California.  ARB is working with a procurement contractor, Automotive Testing & Development Services, Inc. (ATDS), to obtain vehicles for testing from willing truck owners.

Each vehicle will be transported to the Depot Park Facility in Sacramento, California, where it will remain for two to eight weeks.  Each vehicle will undergo a series of tests including on-board diagnostic (OBD) checks in the laboratory to better understand the emissions.  Vehicles with up to one million miles are being solicited for testing.  Pollutants such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter will be measured as part of this test program.

ARB's Letter Requesting Participation - Procurement letter sent to participants.

ARB Depot Park Test Facility, Sacramento

Chassis Dynamometer    control room    instrument room

          Chassis Dynamometer                                Control Room                                   Instrument Room

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I participate in this program?

    To participate, visit the Automotive Testing & Development Services, Inc. web site.  They can also be reached by e-mail at info@automotivetesting.com or telephone at 1-909-390-1100.   The ATDS web site includes additional information regarding program eligibility.

  2. Will I be compensated if I allow my vehicle to be tested in this program?

    Yes, owners will be provided with financial compensation based on a competitive weekly rate for the duration of the testing.

  3. How long will my vehicle be kept for this test program?

    In most cases, an owner's vehicle will be returned after 4 to 8 weeks.   ARB will maintain close communication with the vehicle owner through ATDS during the rental and testing period.

  4. Is my vehicle insured while it is being tested?

    Yes, ARB fully insures the vehicle from the time they receive it from the owner's home or work and until they return the vehicle back to the owner.

  5. What kind of testing is performed on my vehicle?

    The vehicle is placed on a chassis dynamometer, which is like a treadmill for a vehicle, and is operated by a Class A licensed driver to simulate appropriate loads in the laboratory.   As the vehicle is driven, the vehicle's exhaust is sampled and weighted against the mileage driven.   When the test is completed, exhaust emissions such as hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen are quantified in mass per distance.  The vehicle will be tested as it is and will not be altered or disassembled during the testing.

  6. How many miles are added to my vehicle?

    The Truck and Bus Surveillance Program will include between 300 and 500 miles of driving on the chassis dynamometer in the laboratory.  Additional mileage may be added during transport to and from ARB’s Depot Park Facility located in Sacramento, CA.

  7. When do I get my incentive check?

    The incentive check will be issued to the owner when the vehicle is returned at the completion of testing period.   When ARB returns an owner’s vehicle to ATDS, the vehicle will be washed and be completely refueled, returned to the owner, and an incentive check will be issued.

  8. What if I don't want to participate?

    The program is completely voluntary – your participation is not required for compliance with any ARB regulations.


For more information regarding the Truck and Bus Surveillance Program, please contact the lead staff person Cody Howard or his manager Shaohua Hu.  The manager of the Depot Park Testing Facility is Don Chernich.