Google and Dublin City Council team up for air quality study

Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu with Paddy Flynn, Google
Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu with Paddy Flynn, Google

Google’s Street View car will be deployed around the city for one year

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10 May 2021 | 0

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu, has launched an initiative that will see Google’s Street View car take to the streets of Dublin to measure air quality across the city.

The initiative, Air View Dublin, will be rolled out in collaboration with Dublin City Council as part of its Smart Dublin programme, as the next phase of its partnership with Google’s Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE), to inform smart transit programs with the goal of reducing emissions and increasing the use of cleaner modes of travel. 

Google’s first electric Street View car, a Jaguar I-PACE, will be deployed around the city measuring air quality for one year starting 10 May. In Ireland, this is the first time a Google Street View car has been used to capture air pollution and greenhouse gas measurements in addition to Google Maps Street View imagery, a feat possible due to the integration of Google’s Street View technology into the vehicle by Jaguar Land Rover engineers. 

 

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The Jaguar I-PACE is a zero tailpipe-emissions vehicle, which has been equipped with Aclima’s specialised mobile air sensing platform that can measure and analyse nitrogen dioxide, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide (CO), fine particulate matter, and ozone; pollutants which at high levels are harmful to the climate and human health. Aclima’s platform analyses and quality assures pollution measurements to develop maps of street-by-street air pollution in collaboration with Google and scientific research partners. These, in addition to air pollution insights, will be available for use by city authorities and by the public. 

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu said: “Dublin City Council is dedicated to fulfilling its commitment to the UN Breathe Life Campaign and it is projects like this that leverage innovation and forward thinking to allow us to make informed decisions for the benefit of our city and citizens. Environmental air quality is an issue that affects everyone, especially people who live in cities and I look forward to learning more about how our city lives and breathes.”

Project Air View was born from a clear and urgent need for hyperlocal insights on air quality and the overall objective of the initiative is to make air pollution data and insights available to cities and other governments, scientists, non-profit organisations, and the public. 

Google and Dublin City Council are hopeful that access to this data will encourage more people to join the conversation around air quality and enable people to make small but informed daily changes to contribute to its improvement.

“Air quality is a serious concern, especially for cities, but there is a gap in terms of localised data and insights available to decision makers,” said Paddy Flynn, vece president of Google Geo Operations. “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 gain a deeper understanding of air pollution locally and provide important data to help drive solution planning. Mapping of street-by-street air pollution has never been captured or used in Ireland before, and our ultimate goal is that they will support new actions towards a cleaner, more sustainable Dublin.”

Dublin City Council, along with the other Dublin local authorities joined the UN Breath Life Campaign in 2020, which commits them to meeting World Health Organisation guide values for air quality by 2030. Projects such as Air View are an important step in meeting this commitment. 

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