Google and Dublin City Council Launch Innovative Partnership to Capture Dublin’s Air Quality Street-by-Street

Today, 10th May 2021, The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu launched “Air View Dublin”, an initiative that will see Google’s Street View car take to the streets of Dublin to measure air quality across the city. This initiative will be rolled out in Dublin 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.

The initiative will see Google’s first electric Street View car, a Jaguar I-PACE, deployed around the city measuring air quality for one year from the 10th of 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.

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.” Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu

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 analyze 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 analyzes 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.

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 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, nonprofit organizations, and the public.

Picture of Google Air View car with cameras

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.

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 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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