Lord Drayson and Moovit unveil air monitoring transport app for UK commuters

Commuters attempting to navigate around London and other UK cities on public transport can now generate routes that keep clear of areas with high levels of air pollution, through a new data collection add-on for the world's number one transport app Moovit.

Moovit, which has 52 million users across 1,200 cities and was named as the Top Local App of 2016 by Google, combines public transport information with real time updates from the user community to create enhanced journey routes with minimal disruption.

Now, thanks to a new partnership with Internet of Things (IoT) platform company Drayson Technologies – established by former science and innovation minister Lord Drayson – Moovit has been equipped with sensors to monitor surrounding air pollution levels.

Drayson Technologies’ chairman Lord Paul Drayson said: “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 improve air quality across the globe.”

London’s air pollution levels have escalated in recent months, with certain areas of the capital breaching annual limits just five days into 2017. By equipping the Moovit app with CleanSpace Tags – personal air pollution smart sensors – commuters can now collect real time air pollution data and pass on warnings to other members.

The CleanSpace Tag is similar in size to a smartphone, but comes with the added benefit of never needing to be charged. The Tag uses patent-pending Freevolt technology that charges itself by harvesting energy from WiFi signals.

Moovit’s vice president of product Yovav Meydad said: “It is essential that commuters have easy access to information that plays a direct part in their overall health and wellbeing. CleanSpace is an incredibly smart network that allows Moovit users to be pollution aware by tracking the pollution levels along their journey anywhere in the UK.

“The community is also able to contribute to this huge network, mapping air pollution levels across the country, and by carrying a CleanSpace smart sensor they are effectively providing a constant data source to help us track where pollutions levels are high.”

London Underground

The launch of the app is a timely boost for London’s commuters. A study from the University of Surrey, released this month, revealed that riders on the London Underground are subjected to air pollution levels worse than those who travel by car.

The study pointed-out that in some cases, particulate levels in the tube system can be up to eight times higher than those who drive above ground.

Last week, London Mayor Sadiq Khan took a major step in the effort to curb the capital’s air pollution woes. Khan revealed that a £10 T-charge would come into force from October for the most polluting diesel vehicles, a charge which he claimed was the “toughest” emission standard of any world city.

Matt Mace

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