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article imageGoogle cars will collect local pollution data in pilot project

By Caroline Leopold     Jul 30, 2015 in Environment
Google Street View cars may soon be doing more than snapping photos of a block or neighborhood, it could also be tracking air pollution.
While pollution has a detrimental effect on health, air quality is hard to measure because it can vary by neighborhood or even block.
Aclima, an air quality technology company based in San Francisco has teamed up with Google to collect hyperlocal air quality data, according to The Washington Post. Three Google cars collecting street-view data will also be sampling air quality.
The project, which starts this fall, is limited to San Francisco for now. If successful, air pollution trackers may find their way on more Google cars.
The partners hope the data will inform community decisions and generate new science and health studies. Current methods to measure air quality are stationary and may be missing important differences in air quality in cities, Acclima said on its website.
The Environmental Protection Agency offers real-time reports about air quality, but they only report about pollution on a county- and citywide basis.
Hyperlocal air quality data may become helpful for people with serious respiratory illnesses and healthcare providers. Pollution can trigger asthma attacks and worsen chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Asthma affects about 25 million Americans and 10 percent of children have the condition, according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology.
COPD is also common and affects 24 million people in the nation.
More about hyperlocal data, Air pollution, Air quality, google cars, acclima
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