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Ola and Microsoft collaborates to measure real-time air quality in India

Microsoft and Ola collabrates for measuring air quality image

Ola, the private cab company and the tech giant Microsoft, have linked partnership to measure the level of air quality in Delhi. This is an effort to show support to the government’s effort to combat the high levels of pollution. 

It has been three weeks since the people of Delhi are suffering from breathing clean air. The air quality index has increased beyond 1000, making it an emergency situation for the people living in Delhi. The particulate matter present in the air will be calculated with the data collected using sensors, which will be attached to all Ola cabs. Ola and Microsoft both will study the data, which will be collected in one year.

In order to ensure maximum geographical coverage based on complex algorithms, Ola’s cabs have been chosen for this purpose. The aforementioned sensors will be placed in the engine compartment of the cabs. These custom made sensors are manufactured by the Delhi-based company called Purelogic Labs India. 

Venkat Padmanabhan, Deputy managing director of Microsoft Research India, said, “At Microsoft Research India, we have a track record of conducting research that addresses pressing societal issues with innovative technology. The recent launch of our Societal impact through Cloud and AI (SCAI) initiative enables us to deepen our engagement with like-minded collaborators. We are excited to be partnering with Ola on the critical challenge of air pollution, leveraging their reach in the country and our expertise in edge technologies such as IoT-based sensing and AI”

The project will begin by the end of this month and will collect data points for over a year covering as much area as possible with the help of these sensors. This data collected at the street level will help the government tremendously. Data collected by the cabs will be available to the general public so that people can get a grasp on what the situation is and also help researchers and policymakers come up with the necessary steps to deal with this. 

Based on Ola’s research, the cabs don’t measure the pollution at the street level; they just give you a rough picture of the ambient air quality. But these new sensors will give us a more accurate representation of the pollution we are inhaling every second of the day. 

Anand Shah, head of the Mobility Institute, Ola, says, “Air pollution is one of the biggest global environmental challenges of today. Most air-quality sensors today measure ambient air quality, which is not reflective of the street-level pollution people are subjected to on a daily basis. This project is part of ‘Ola City Sense’, a program to provide intelligent data-based insights to cities”. 

The data will tell us about the air quality and help in the implementation of the National Clean Air Programme. 

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