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Low-Emission Zones

Low-emission zones are areas within cities where certain vehicles have restricted access if they do not meet the requirements to enter. The main purpose is to reduce pollution and improve air quality. These zones are usually established in areas where air pollution levels exceed the acceptable standards set by regulatory authorities.

The specific rules and regulations of low-emission zones vary from city to city and from country to country:

  • Sometimes a badge is needed which authorizes a certain vehicle to enter or not.

  • Sometimes a vehicle registration is required to enter a zone. In such cases the license plate will be captured by video cameras when entering the zone.

  • Sometimes entering a zone is only allowed if vehicles have a minimum emission standard.

  • There are also combinations of different systems where both - badges and emission standards - are used.

  • Zones can be time-dependent and are only active at a certain time of the day.

Consideration in routing

Low-emission zones are automatically considered during route calculation, that means that the selected vehicle will enter a low-emission zone when it is allowed to, otherwise the low-emission zone will be avoided.

Low-emission zones which require a badge or registration

If a zone requires a badge or a registration, access is only allowed if the badge is actually present on the windscreen or the vehicle has been properly registered. 

By default a vehicle will be assumed to have the least restrictive badge it would be allowed to obtain. So, our predefined profiles include these badges (see here for more details). That will usually be sufficient for vehicle operating in certain areas having all the necessary permissions.

If that is not the case, all available badges and registrations have to be specified in order to find proper routes. That will be the case either because the vehicle's emission standard is not sufficient to obtain the proper badges, or if the vehicle operates in areas where it has not acquired the proper badges.

The available badges and registrations have to be specified with the parameter vehicle[lowEmissionZoneApprovals]. Zones for which no proper badge is specified will be avoided. As an example, when only specifying DE_GREEN for Germany all zones in France will be avoided as no French badge is specified. When only specifying NONE, all zones that require a badge or a registration will be avoided.

If a waypoint is located within a low-emission zone not allowed for the vehicle, the resulting route will be violated, and there will be a corresponding violation event (if requested).

As soon as the route passes through a zone, there are corresponding enter and exit events (if requested).

Note that the parameter vehicle[lowEmissionZoneTypes] is deprecated and has been superseded by vehicle[lowEmissionZoneApprovals]. It is not possible to use them both. Low-emission zone events do not work with this deprecated parameter.


left: lowEmissionZoneApprovals = DE_GREEN - zone will be passed / right: lowEmissionZoneApprovals = DE_RED - zone will be avoided

Low-emission zones which require a certain emission standard

If a zone requires a certain emission standard to allow access, the emissionStandard and the fuelType of the selected vehicle are automatically considered. Electric vehicles do not have an emission standard and are always allowed to enter.

For waypoints within low-emission zones not allowed for the vehicle, the same rules apply as mentioned above.


left: emissionStandard = EURO_6 - zone will be passed / right: emissionStandard = EURO_1 - zone will be bypassed