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Automotive air quality control & disrupting the automotive industry

Update: 2019-12-02 16:39 Source: LUFTMY

As we all know, transportation has a huge impact on air quality; the World Health Organization estimates that up to 30% of particulate emissions in European cities come from road transportation, and up to 50% of particulate emissions in OECD countries come from diesel transportation.

Exposure to this kind of pollution has both short-term and long-term effects on health; research shows that traffic pollution is related to the increase of allergy and asthma related symptoms, the increase of cancer risk after long-term exposure, and the possible impact on fertility.

Air pollution risks for drivers and passengers

When we talk about the health effects of pollution caused by traffic, we usually think of pedestrians living, commuting or working near busy roads, rather than car drivers and passengers themselves.However, our existing vehicles do not protect us from pollution.More importantly, drivers appear to be exposed to the highest levels of air pollution on the road.

An interesting air quality experiment: the study compared the air pollution exposure of cyclists, pedestrians, bus passengers, drivers or car passengers. The results show that the level of pollutants that pedestrians and cyclists are exposed to is lower than that of drivers and passengers. This is because the contaminant content in the car is higher.

With global awareness of the impact of air pollution on health and the growing market for smart mobile, consumer demand for solutions to deal with air quality and prevent pollution in the cabin will increase. Recent automotive market research forecasts that the global automotive sensor market will grow from $22800 in 2018 to $37299 by the end of 2025.

How air quality control improves passenger experience

Real time air quality data has the potential to improve the driver and passenger experience, first of all to prevent pollution in the cabin. For example, the latest air quality information can be used to remind drivers of poor air quality and fire hazards in their locations, to urge them to close windows and open the air purification system in the cabin.

Limitations of physical sensors in automobile industry

So far, discussions on integrating air quality information into automotive solutions have focused on the topic of physical air quality sensors.

A combination of physical sensors and an effective filtration system usually provides many benefits because it automatically prevents breathing hazards from entering the cabin, such as pollen, road dust and diesel soot.

However, there are some disadvantages in the method of "only using physical sensors" in monitoring real-time air quality: because the physical sensor is a hardware solution, it needs to be integrated into the manufacturing process, so as to provide timely and expensive venture capital for automobile OEMs. After that, it is much more difficult to transform the air quality sensor, which to a certain extent limits the rapid response of original equipment manufacturers and automobile suppliers to the market and establishes a competitive advantage.

Although physical air quality sensors may give a good picture of real-time air quality at the driver's exact location, they do not allow too much space travel planning without predicting the location of information or data conditions on the driver's journey, which means that the ability to plan ahead is relatively limited.

Beyond physical sensors and virtual sensors

Cloud based real-time air quality data, or in other words, "virtual sensors," provide the key for OEMs and tier one automotive suppliers to complement or replace existing air quality sensors. When it comes to integration, this approach provides a cheaper and simpler way to do it through API connections, which means that for those who want to verify the integration of air quality data in the vehicle, the barriers are much less.

For further explanation, real-time air quality information, combined with high street resolution and global geographic coverage data, provides information beyond the location of the car itself. In addition to predictive information, this means that drivers can receive personalized navigation advice to help them choose the cleanest route; this approach also enables them to take precautions before entering contaminated areas.

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