Google Street View Cars Will Monitor Air Quality in London

Sensor-fitted Google Street View cars will monitor London's air quality 5 photos
Photo: neowin
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The Mayor of London is keeping his promise to make tackling air pollution one of his priorities. The Greater London Authority will be using Google Street View cars to monitor air quality in the capital, Tech Crunch reports.
The initiative is part of a larger program, currently slated to last an entire year, that will show the pollution policies that need to be implemented, through the generation of hyperlocal data.

In other words, the readings will allow customized policies to tackle pollution. The project kicks off next month and will include 2 vehicles from Google Street View, equipped with sensors that will monitor air quality every 30 meters.

They will be part of a wider network that includes other 100 sensors fitted to buildings and lamp posts situated in key areas of the city. Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, calls the network “the most sophisticated in the world.” The fixed sensors are made by Air Monitors, a local company.

The project is being led by the charity Environmental Defense Fund Europe, in partnership with Air Monitors, Google Earth Outreach, Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants, University of Cambridge, National Physical Laboratory, and the Environmental Defense Fund team in the United States,” Tech Crunch explains.

Once the program is complete, the results will be shared with the C40 Cities network, and will pave the way for appropriate policies that will tackle pollution in the area and, this way, improve the lives of the millions of residents in the capital.

The timing couldn’t be better: recent studies have shown that toddlers and small children are the most affected by pollution, inhaling 30% more exhaust fumes than adults on a regular walk to school. Kids driven to school aren’t better off, either: they breathe in 2.5 times more toxic fumes than those who walk to school in a less crowded area.

This isn’t the first time that Google Street View cars do more than just help map cities. The most recent initiative of the kind was in San Francisco, were these cars were fitted with sensors from Aclima to monitor air quality.
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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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