Google’s Street View cars aren’t just for taking photos: apparently some are also mapping air quality. Yesterday, Google announced that the program is spreading to San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Central Valley regions of the state, according to TheVerge.com. High concentrations of particulate pollution convinced the company to focus on certain cities in California. That particulate pollution contributes to over a billion of dollars worth of health care costs.
Google performed a trial run in Denver, Colorado earlier in 2015. In that trial, three cars were used, each equipped with sensors to study black carbon, carbon dioxide, methane, and particulate matter. Data was collected for 750 hours for a month.
Google said that from now on, all collected data will be overlaid on Google Maps and Google Earth and made available to the Environmental Defense Fund as well as the EPA.
The three street cars are now in San Francisco, and the air-mapping will continue to other areas next year.