Google straps air quality sensors to its Street View cars
Image credit: jaguar i pace
Google has added air quality measuring sensors to its first all-electric Street View car which will help create maps of pollution hotspots.
The firm is using a Jaguar Land Rover I-PACE which has extra air quality measuring sensors that can detect nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and fine particles (PM2.5) on a street-by-street basis.
The technology is being trialled in Dublin initially. Air quality information will be captured over the next 12 months, after which Google’s research partners will analyse the data and develop maps of street-level air pollution.
Dublin City Council hopes the data will help policymakers as well as encourage people to make small daily changes to help improve air quality.
While air pollution has broadly improved in cities around the world since the start of Covid-19 lockdowns in 2020, a study recently found that the changes were smaller than expected.
Jaguar engineers have also worked to integrate Google Street View technology into the vehicle, including new roof mountings for the Street View camera, new rear-window glass which allows for wiring and redesigned interior switchgear to incorporate Google Street View controls.
Elena Allen, a Jaguar Land Rover project manager, said: “We are delighted to support this project as it aligns with our own journey to becoming an electric-first business and achieving net zero carbon by 2039. Partnerships like this are one of the ways we can achieve our sustainability goals and make a positive impact on society.”
Paddy Flynn, vice president of geo operations at Google, said: “Air quality is a serious concern, especially for cities, but there is a gap in terms of localised data and insights available to both decision-makers and citizens.
“As part of this project, we’re using technology to capture this important data and make it accessible so that together with Dublin City Council, we can drive solution planning.”
Google has used Jaguar’s I-Pace vehicles in the past for its self-driving fleet as part of its Waymo autonomous vehicle programme.
Launched in 2018, the I-Pace can travel around 246 miles on a full charge following a software update in 2019 that extended its range.
Waymo is also planning to open up a test driverless ride-hailing service to the US public in the city of Phoenix, Arizona.
Sign up to the E&T News e-mail to get great stories like this delivered to your inbox every day.