For the past three years, some of Google’s famous Street View cars have traversed Californian streets equipped with sensors from environmental sensor network Aclima to capture air pollution data. Today, the duo announced they are expanding this partnership globally.
Google first announced it was working with Aclima to help map Californian air quality back in 2015, though this actually came a few months after a similar trial program was unveiled in Denver. In the three years since, Google Street View cars with Aclima sensors have driven more than 100,000 miles across California, including in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and last year Google revealed it would begin making data available to the academic and scientific community.
The internet giant has also previously partnered with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) for an initiative to map natural gas leaks beneath the streets of Boston, Indianapolis, and Staten Island — such leaks not only pose a near-term safety risk, they may also impact the global climate.
That Google is looking to officially launch its air pollution monitoring service outside of California and beyond the U.S. indicates that its data-collection efforts so far have been successful. A peer-reviewed study was published in Environmental Science and Technology last year, showing how air quality in Oakland could vary significantly within a single block.
“We’ve been working with Aclima to test the technology for years, and we’re excited that we are ready to take the next steps to begin this new phase: expanding to more places around the world with the…