Research & Development.

Gordon-Darby takes an extremely active role in the development of constantly evolving Inspection & Maintenance (I/M) technology. We have led the way for more than three decades in advancing state-of-the-art emissions testing technology. As the quality leader in the I/M industry, we have developed and implemented many technical advances in our programs that are now standard industry practices.
Our company routinely expends considerable time and resources on research and development (R&D) activities at our corporate headquarters and I/M development facility in Louisville, Kentucky.

Emissions Research and Development

Resulting improvements have encompassed not only the test processes used in our programs but also equipment specifications, quality assurance and quality control procedures, administrative processes and other enhancements that have been implemented in order to keep program operations contemporary. We’ve implemented enhancements because we believed there was room for improvement overall, not because we were under any contractual obligation to do so.

Gordon-Darby’s R&D team continues to work hand in hand with US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and its contractors, state and local agencies, the motor vehicle manufacturers, centralized and decentralized test equipment manufacturers, and other interested parties to lead the emissions testing industry with technical solutions to the challenges that the industry faces.

Many of the R&D efforts conducted by Gordon-Darby involved industry firsts and have become standard practice throughout the vehicle inspection industry. US EPA also incorporated a number of these Gordon-Darby-developed program enhancements into the 1992 Federal I/M Rule (now included in 40 CFR Part 51) and/or subsequent IM240, Evap and ASM guidance documents. We will continue to add to this list as we work to meet future challenges. Research & Development completed by Gordon-Darby includes:

  • Computer Matching Enforcement
  • Repair Industry Reporting
  • Automated Equipment Calibrations and Audits
  • Automated Waiver Issuance
  • I/M Customer Service Hotlines
  • Digitally Augmented Infrared Gas Bench Technology
  • Integrated, Automated Safety and Emissions Inspection Equipment
  • Decentralized Network Management System
  • Electronic (Modem-Based) Data Collection
  • Use of PCs with Floppy Drives in Decentralized Private Garages
  • Computerized, Software-Prompted Anti-Tampering Inspections
  • Covert Audits
  • Electric Eddy-Current Power Absorbers for Steady-State Dynamometers
  • Computerized “Smart” Waiver System
  • NO Gas Analyzers
  • Automated Flywheel and Horsepower Selections on Inertia Weight Dynamometer
  • High-Tech Test Equipment
  • Pressure and Purge Functional Evaporative Emissions Testing
  • IM240 Preconditioning Research
  • Development of IM147 Test Process
  • On-Board Diagnostics (OBD)
  • IM240 Quality Assurance Guidelines
  • IM240 NOx Detection
  • HC Detection
  • Ambient NOx Correction
  • Compliance Rate Analysis
  • EPA I/M Lookup Table Improvements
  • Vehicle Pressure Testability Rates
  • Research & Development
  • ASM Test Equipment
  • ASM Pilot Lanes
  • ASM False Failures
  • ASM NOx Detection
  • TransMass™
  • Remote Inspection Monitoring System (RIMS™)
  • I/M Data Warehousing
  • Self-Serve OBD Kiosk
  • VIN Decoder
  • OBD Fingerprinting
Gordon-Darby has been a primary innovator in the I/M industry for more than 30 years. Many technological improvements and test processes we pioneered are now standard industry practice.

Another related R&D activity is the use of vehicle test data from our Phoenix, Arizona program in evaluations performed by US EPA, the agency’s technical consultants and other industry analysts.

The Arizona data is routinely used by a wide range of analysts to obtain insight into trends in vehicle emissions, to identify possible problem vehicles. The widespread use of this data is a direct reflection of the high quality Arizona program, which is regarded by the US EPA and others as a benchmark enhanced I/M program against which the performance of other programs across the United States can be judged.

The numerous analyses that have been completed using this data is also due to the random full-duration sampling algorithm that we built into the Arizona test software. This methodology produces datasets that are free of any sampling bias and representative of fleetwide emissions readings in the Phoenix program area.