Read the full story in Fast Company.
If you stand next to an experimental Google StreetView car in Oakland, you’ll hear whirring. On top of the vehicle–below the usual cameras taking photos of the street–a mechanical system with pumps is pulling in the outdoor air, feeding it through a set of tubes to air-pollution monitoring equipment in the trunk, and then pumping the exhaust back outside again.
The car is one of two from Google Earth Outreach that Aclima, a San Francisco-based company, equipped with a mobile air-quality platform. Over the last year–as each car drove six to eight hours a day around Oakland, repeatedly sampling every street in one section of the city–researchers collected the largest-ever set of urban air pollution data, and studied how the system could be used to better understand city air quality. The project was convened by the nonprofit EDF.