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Marseille introduces air pollution checks for drivers
Posted on 02/12/2019


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"Acceptable", "average" or "bad". These are the new ratings that will now appear on a screen after a car passes in front of new pollution monitoring radar technology installed in Marseille. Marseille authorities have installed a device that will be able to collect more accurate information on the pollution released from cars in the Mediterranean port city.

Are cars really necessary in urban areas? Marseille is trying to rethink their use as they install air pollution monitoring devices.

© Valery Inglebert/123rf

To better understand air quality in the city, the Atmosud association has created a radar capable of measuring individual car's pollution output. This system will also aim to raise awareness among motorists and will be located on the boulevard in downtown Marseille. The device will be able to capture emissions as the vehicle passes the radar and will then display a rating to inform drivers from an educational and awareness perspective.

On a more technical level, the devices use Remote Sensing Detection (RSD) technology. Simply explained the technology consists of, ?a laser beam measures the diffraction effect on the air pollution particles before and after the vehicle passes through' explains Stéphane Castel, a member of the Atmosud association. As the vehicle passes by, the computer analyses the composition of the gases and the level of microparticles.

This project is not just about raising awareness among motorists. It will also serve as an independent air quality monitoring study to collect important data. "A camera will also be installed alongside the RSD technology to record the license plate details which will indicate the vehicle's model and age" to be cross-referenced with the pollution data, Castel explains. "We want to provide this data to city authorities in the context of promoting low-emission zones".