Traffic Pollution Sensors Getting a Trial Run in the UK

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Have you ever wondered how many pollutants you’re breathing in while sitting in traffic sandwiched between two trucks? The Mobile Environmental Sensing System Across a Grid Environment (MESSAGE) can tell you. The system, designed by researchers at Newcastle University, produces real-time data on traffic pollutants including carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and noise.

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But you can’t keep a personal MESSAGE system in your car. Instead, the sensors are placed at intervals along busy roads. Curious commuters can monitor pollution levels in real-time using a Google map application.

MESSAGE sensors are going to get a trial run in Gateshead, UK, where they will be closely watched by interested parties around the world. Researchers involved in the project speculate that tens of thousands of MESSAGE sensors could one day create an intelligent transport infrastructure.

Who knows— maybe one day we’ll take certain routes to work depending on both traffic and pollution levels.

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