Google has captured well over 10 million miles of global Street View imagery since its camera-equipped cars first hit the streets 14 years ago.
But despite the emergence of greener vehicle technology, the company has only now gotten around to deploying its first all-electric Street View car.
The vehicle, a Jaguar I-Pace, recently took to the streets of Dublin to take fresh imagery for Google Street View, a popular online service that offers panoramic views of a growing number of places around the world.
But that’s not all that the Jaguar I-Pace is doing, as Google’s first all-electric Street View car has been fitted with a mobile air-sensing platform for gathering data on the city’s air quality over the next 12 months.
Created by environmental intelligence company Aclima, the technology’s sensors can measure and analyze pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, fine particulate matter, and ozone, which at high levels can harm not only the climate but also human health.
“Dublin City Council is dedicated to fulfilling its commitment to the U.N. BreatheLife campaign, and it is projects like this that leverage innovation and forward thinking to allow us to make informed decisions for the benefit of our city and citizens,” Hazel Chu, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, said in comments reported by the Irish Times. “Environmental air quality is an issue that affects everyone, especially people who live in cities, and I look forward to learning more about how our city lives and breathes.”
Google has actually been doing this kind of work in a number of cities since 2017, although considering the type of car it’s using in Dublin, there will be a little less pollution to detect this time around.
It’s not clear if Google is planning to use more all-electric vehicles in its ongoing Street View project. We’ve reached out to the company to find out and will update this article when we hear back.
In other Street View news, check out this remarkable story about how one man carried a camera for thousands of miles in a monumental effort to bring the southern African nation of Zimbabwe to Google’s mapping tool.