A real-time emissions estimation project has been handed £1 million in government funding.
The joint project between Imperial College London and vehicle analytics and tracking company Tantalum aims to give both individual drivers and local authorities accurate estimations for the environmental impact of vehicles on the road.
Tantalum’s solution works by connecting to a car’s on-board computer to provide real-time information about how much nitrogen oxide (NOx) is being emitted.
The company claims its existing carbon dioxide-measuring system helped customers save fuel by making them aware of how their car was performing, and believes it could reduce NOx emissions “by up to 50 per cent”.
Ozgur Tohumcu, Tantalum CEO, says the system could change your route to avoid high-pollution areas and automatically pay charges – such as London’s Congestion Charge – based on where you’ve been.
“We are working with Imperial College and cities around the world to make this vision a reality. We are delighted to have been awarded the Innovate UK grant, as it confirms Tantalum’s place as the leading connected vehicle innovator and reinforces Tantalum’s vision to put our automotive and data science expertise towards improving everyone’s quality of life. We look forward to making this a reality,” he added.
— Tantalum Corp (@TantalumCorp) April 11, 2017
The systems also record location data and are connected to each other to give authorities a real-time estimation of local air pollution levels. Tantalum says that this can allow for fairer road charging based on actual emissions as well as giving city planners valuable data to build “cleaner, smarter and healthier cities”.
Dr Marc Stettler from Imperial College London, which is helping Tantalum develop and test its software, said: “We are very excited to be involved in the Air.Car project, as it illustrates how Imperial’s research expertise and world-class facilities can deliver practical and real-world solutions to the environmental problems facing our rapidly growing cities.”
An Innovate UK spokesperson said: “The Tantalum/Imperial College project is one of four one-year R&D projects we have funded to support connected and autonomous vehicle developments, specifically how these technology advances can benefit energy reduction and air quality improvements.”
Tantalum is recruiting public and commercial fleets to take part in a 1,000-vehicle test of the solution, which will start in the autumn.