App to promote ‘clean’ exercise routes

A digital app is being developed to offer users detailed mapping to find routes with the lowest levels of air pollution for cycling, walking or running.

Funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) Kickstarter grant programme, project CARAMEL (Clean Air Routing and Mobile Exposure Limitation), the app will identify and maps the cleanest air routes, as well as reporting on weekly pollution levels, developers say.

The ‘CARAMEL’ app will be available on smartphones and other devices, developer EarthSense says

Developed by the Leicester-based air quality monitoring and mapping specialist EarthSense, the app will use a combination of satellite data, traffic simulation and public transport data.

Outputs will include an air quality data model and routing system, an online mapping portal and the CARAMEL app for use on smartphones and other mobile devices, EarthSense says.

The company adds that the app will allow users to identify clean routes for healthy exercise choices as well as accessing data on their actual activity and exposure levels.

The project will also assess how other transport options can be integrated to provide a complete picture of mobility.

Information

Commenting on the project, Tom Hall, managing director of EarthSense, said: “Project CARAMEL gives people going about their everyday lives the information they need to make informed decisions about where and when they want to exercise. Ongoing use of the CARAMEL app allows for adjustments based on actual activity and exposure levels and, by collating data from multiple sources, we can provide intelligence to target resources reducing pollution in popular areas.

“We are excited to be working with the ESA and the other project partners to make a real difference to people’s lives supporting behavioural change and strategic decision making.”

Working alongside project partners Leeds City Council and Aimsun, EarthSense is currently assessing the CARAMEL app and online system in terms of feasibility and potential commercial uses.

EarthSense will also investigate the viability of CARAMEL in conjunction with other local authorities and corporate organisations for staff health awareness, health and travel schemes, it says.