Vivacity & Vaisala take the air 

Partners will deploy 350 air quality sensors in UK's West Midlands Combined Authority area 
Enforcement / November 18, 2021
By Ben Spencer
Vivacity Labs Vaisala air quality West Midlands 5G Transport for West Midlands traffic sensors
Vivacity says researchers will explore the subtle differences in traffic flows as the weather changes (© Radislava Olshevskaya |

Vivacity Labs' traffic sensors are being paired with Vaisala's weather environmental measurement sensors to obtain insights on air quality changes across England's West Midlands region. 

Vivacity says the coronavirus pandemic has shone a light on air quality and travel sustainability, with the contributions from different vehicles changing significantly.

For example, data from Ricardo revealed that passenger car contribution decreased to 53% and large goods vehicles and heavy goods vehicles together contributed just under a third of the total nitrogen oxides during the lockdown periods in 2020.

Vivacity and Vaisala’s sensors are now being installed across a number of sites to provide researchers with the opportunity to explore the subtle differences in traffic flows as the weather changes.

This project has been enabled by West Midlands 5G and Transport for West Midlands.

The next stage of the £5.8 million initiative will see around 350 sensors deployed across the West Midlands Combined Authority area before its conclusion in March 2022.

Vivacity hopes the findings will support other regions in developing similar networks to ease congestion hotspots. 

Vivacity CEO Mark Nicholson says: “The conversation around air quality, sustainability and the impact of travel has become essential, and it’s great to be partnering with Vaisala to provide key and new data for local authorities and researchers. By providing these insights, decisions can be made about infrastructure and both immediate and longer term plans can be put in place to improve air quality.”

Danny Johns, business development manager, weather and environment, at Vaisala, says using weather and air quality data together with Vivacity’s traffic sensors provides valuable input to facilitate smoother traffic flows in the West Midlands region.

“These various data sources help build a better understanding of the key relationship between the vehicles, the pollution they create, and the way that pollution either stays close to the ground or disperses depending on the prevailing weather conditions,” Johns adds. 

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