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News | A small box with a big effect

Connected Bosch solution measures urban air quality

An innovative system that measures air quality is the latest Bosch smart city solution. In cooperation with Intel, Bosch has developed a microclimate monitoring system that already contributes to improving the lives of people who live in cities. We spoke to Mahesh Chikodi, the head of business development at Bosch in the U.K., who explained how the system works.

Mr. Chikodi, a system that measures air quality doesn’t seem to be anything new.

In cities, there are often measuring stations for ambient air. These stations are actual laboratories in which experts work and can evaluate data. Our solution is much smaller: our system is about one one-hundredth the size of conventional facilities. It is a small box that is easy to install at about a tenth of the cost.

Does the small box have the same capabilities as the large measuring stations?  

We’ve equipped the system with high-precision miniature sensors that can measure different gases such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide, as well as the relative humidity, temperature, and light and noise levels. We can thus reliably record 12 parameters that are relevant for the analysis of air quality. Conventional measuring stations only measure the air at a few locations to determine air quality values for the entire city. Because of its low price, the Bosch solution can measure at ten or twenty locations across the city rather than just two or three.

Where does the climate data that the system gathers end up?

All the data can be recorded, retrieved, and evaluated in real time – around the clock and using different devices. This means I can respond to different situations flexibly: for example, a hybrid city bus can use its electric drive in instances where a city neighborhood’s air quality is bad.

How can this data help make the lives of city dwellers better?

The microclimate monitoring system monitors air quality in a comprehensive manner by measuring and evaluating pollution in a particular region. State organizations and companies can use the data the system has gathered to come up with targeted air pollution reduction measures. With our systems, we create benefits for people and the environment and increase productivity.

Is the solution already in use?

In Pune in India, the system is already measuring air quality at 50 spots across the city. One day, each inhabitant may have access to important data regarding air quality of their own immediate surroundings. – in real time via a smart phone app. Before I go jogging, I can thus check which areas of my city have high levels of air pollution and should be avoided, and where I can breathe easy.

More information on Bosch smart city solutions can be found here.

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