Tech start-ups partner to provide air pollution data

Tech company Drayson Technologies and public transit app Moovit have partnered for a pilot programme to enable people in major cities to monitor air pollution levels.

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The CleanSpace Tag collects hyper-local air pollution data as users travel

Moovit users in London, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Mexico City will be able to view air pollution levels in their cities by linking to CleanSpace air pollution maps, according to the companies involved.

CleanSpace is Drayson Technology’s mobile air pollution monitoring platform. Users can request a CleanSpace Tag – a personal air pollution smart sensor designed by Drayson Technologies – in order to collect “hyper-local air pollution data” as they travel.

The Tag is about the size of an iPhone and detects levels of carbon monoxide (CO), which are shared with the CleanSpace app via Bluetooth.

Carbon monoxide

Drayson Technologies worked with the Environmental Research Group at King’s College London and the National Physical Laboratory to test the resolution and accuracy of CleanSpace.

In consultation with KCL, the company decided to use carbon monoxide as the indicator of overall air pollution for the CleanSpace smart sensors. It claims that CO is relevant to both indoor and outdoor air pollution and is relevant world-wide, independent of national or local components of pollution.

Moovit users will be able to link to the CleanSpace App from within the Moovit app to have an overview of air pollution levels in their cities. The Moovit community members equipped with CleanSpace Tags will crowd-source air pollution data wherever they are, helping to build a map of air pollution.

The app works with a traffic light system to alert users of pollution levels, so they can adjust their routes as necessary. Air pollution contributes to around 5.5 million premature deaths worldwide, and contributes to around 40,000 early deaths each year in the UK.

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Lord Paul Drayson

Lord Paul Drayson, chief executive at Drayson Technologies said: “Drayson Technologies is developing further personal sensor products that monitor pollutants in addition to CO. However, the CleanSpace API which is available now and powers the CleanSpace AirMap covers all major air pollutants as monitored by governments world-wide.”

Partnership

Lord Drayson added: “Drayson Technologies and Moovit are two forward-thinking organisations that recognise how technology can improve our lives.

“With this partnership, we’re combining two areas of innovative technology, crowd-sourced journey planning data and an Internet of Things sensor network, to build information for the benefit of the wider public.

“Air pollution is a global issue but through the provision of accurate data, we can help shape how the public chooses to travel and improve air quality across the globe.”

Yovav Meydad, Moovit’s vice-president of Products & Marketing, said: “This partnership highlights our commitment to providing Moovit users with a complete overview of their journeys. Through the provision of information on the journey route and environment, Moovit is working with its engaged community to improve the overall travel experience.

“Air pollution is a global health issue, but by providing environmental data from CleanSpace, we will help our riders across the world make smarter travel decisions when it comes to their personal air pollution exposure.”

Drayson Technologies is headquartered in London, UK with offices in Mexico City and San Francisco.