A new initiative between Dublin City Council’s Smart Dublin programme and Google will see the capital’s air quality monitored street-by-street for the next year. It’s the next phase of a partnership with Google’s Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE) to inform smart transit programs to reduce emissions and increase 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 until May 2022. In Ireland, this is the first time a Google Street View car has captured air pollution and greenhouse gas measurements in addition to Google Maps Street View imagery. It’s possible due to the integration of Google’s Street View technology into the vehicle by Jaguar Land Rover engineers.

Lord Mayor Hazel Chu in the Google Air View car

The Jaguar I-PACE is a zero-tailpipe emissions vehicle, equipped with Aclima’s specialised mobile air sensing platform that can measure and analyse: nitrogen dioxide (NO2), nitrous oxide (NO), carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), fine particulate matter (PM2.5), and ozone (O3); 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-level air pollution in collaboration with Google and scientific research partners. In addition to air pollution insights, the data will be available to city authorities and the public.

Commenting on the initiative, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu, said, “I am so pleased to launch this innovative partnership with Google. Dublin City Council is dedicated to fulfilling its commitment to the UN Breathe Life Campaign. It is projects like this that leverage innovation and forwards 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. The overall objective of the initiative is to make air pollution data and insights available to cities and other governments, scientists, nonprofits organisations, and the public.

Capturing Dublin’s Air Quality Street-by-Street

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.

Paddy Flynn, Vice President of Google Geo Operations, said, “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. As part of this project, we’re using technology to capture this important data and make it accessible. Together with Dublin City Council, we can better understand 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.”

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