Smart options for monitoring the air that we breathe

Sensors, crowdsourcing, machine learning, and other technologies are making air pollution data more available than ever before

The growth of the Internet of Things industry is presenting new possibilities for air quality monitoring and management for smart cities, finds a report from Navigant Research

Air Quality Monitoring and Management for Smart Cities reported that sensor networks, crowdsourcing projects, machine learning, and other advanced technologies are making air pollution data more available than ever before.

Urbanisation and economic and population growth have resulted in large increases in vehicle use, industrial activities, and energy consumption in cities around the world, leading to pervasive urban air pollution.

Currently, most cities measure air pollution using a collection of large environmental monitoring stations, which are accurate, but high operating costs can create gaps in coverage.

“Due to the emergence of sensor networks, crowdsourcing projects, machine learning, and other advanced technologies and services, low-cost and hyper-localised air pollution data is more available than ever before,” says Ryan Citron, research analyst at Navigant Research.

“However, while sensor networks offer great promise to lower cost and quickly deployable environmental monitoring, several challenges need to be addressed, including the high total cost of project deployment, potential issues around accuracy and reliability, and the current inability of some sensors to meet environmental regulatory standards.”

As the market develops, standards or certification are expected to be increasingly important to provide the market with certainty around the performance of new solutions. Another key challenge for the industry is likely to be scalability: suppliers and cities will need to find creative funding solutions in order to deploy larger projects.

The study analyses market and technology trends within the industry, as well as city technology and policy solutions for managing air quality. It also examines significant air quality monitoring projects and case studies of deployments from around the world, as well as the competitive landscape.