Google, Aclima to scale hyperlocal air quality mapping worldwide

September 12, 2018 // By Rich Pell
Technology giant Google (Mountain View, CA) and environmental sensor company Aclima (San Francisco, CA) have announced plans to scale and integrate Aclima's mobile sensing platform into Google's global fleet of Street View vehicles.

Aclima's sensing platform measures and maps hyperlocal air quality and climate emissions at a block-by-block resolution. The company's mobile sensing platform has been tested on Aclima-equipped Google Street View cars in California since 2015, and previously in Denver, Colorado, and the latest announcement, say the companies, builds on this past research.

Initially the plan calls for equipping 50 Google Maps Street View vehicles with Aclima's mobile sensor node, which will generate snapshots of carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), and particulate matter (PM2.5) in the local air environment while the cars routinely collect Street View imagery in cities and regions around the world. This snapshot data will be aggregated and designated with a representativeness indicator and will be made available as a public dataset on Google BigQuery .

The complete dataset will be available upon request to advance air quality science and research. The first such Aclima-equipped Street View cars will hit the road this fall both in the U.S. and elsewhere, the companies say.

"As air pollution and climate emissions pose an urgent challenge to human and planetary health," says Aclima CEO Davida Herzl, "partnering with Google to scale Aclima's environmental intelligence platform in Street View cars will activate awareness about local air quality in communities around the world where this information doesn't currently exist. We're thrilled to expand our years-long effort with Google to provide snapshots of hyperlocal air quality and emissions at the street level and global scale."

Aclima-equipped Google Street View cars have driven over 100,000 miles in the state of California collecting over one billion data points to map air quality in Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, and Central Valley communities. The result, say the companies, is one of the largest data sets of urban air pollution of its kind ever assembled, and produced a peer-reviewed, scientific study in Oakland, CA revealing how air pollution levels

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