Approximately seven million people die each year from causes linked to air pollution.
The WHO also estimates that 90 percent of everyone on the planet breathes highly polluted air, which can lead to severe health issues. Polluted air not only harms humans, but it also seriously impacts wildlife and the environment.
As the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection said in a study, air pollution can cause hazardous changes in our environment, like acid rain, eutrophication, ozone depletion, crop and forest damage, and global climate change, among other effects.
With that in mind, over the past few years, Google has deployed its Street View vehicles equipped with air quality sensors to gauge the level of air quality on a street by street level in certain cities. The hope is to inform institutions of cities' levels of polluted air so that efforts to make changes are sped up.
Google has gathered more than 500 million air measurements, and it's upping the ante by using its first all-electric Street View vehicle to do the job: the Jaguar I-PACE.
The Jaguar I-PACE's mission
The Google Jaguar I-PACE will be launched only in Dublin for the time being. Working hand in hand with the city's Council, the Street View EV will kill two birds with one stone by simultaneously measuring every street's air quality as it maps out every inch over the space of one year.
The I-PACE will be kitted out with Aclima's specialized mobile air sensing platform that's able to measure and analyze pollutants that can be harmful to humans and to the environment when at high levels: nitrogen dioxide (NO2), nitrous oxide (NO), carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), fine particulate matter (PM2.5), and ozone (O3).
The launch marks the next phase of Google and Dublin's Environmental Insights Explorer program, which aims to collect and analyze enough air pollution data to share with smart transit programs, with the hope of finding solutions to reduce emissions and create cleaner modes of transport.
It's a great initiative, which will hopefully also be launched in cities that suffer some of the highest levels of air pollution, like Zabol in Iran, Gwalior in India, or Xingtai in China.