The Smogmobile: A Collaboration between the GSMA and the Royal Borough of Greenwich

Air quality within cities represents a global challenge for governments, regulators, city administrators and citizens. Much of the shift towards, and the huge investment in, green energy, electric vehicles, and the electrification of rail services is driven by the need to reduce air pollution. There is an increasing focus by all stakeholders on understanding the levels and causes of air pollution to enable interventions to combat it. Today’s air quality monitoring infrastructure in most cities is limited due to high installation and operational cost of fixed monitoring stations. This means that data is sparse, and this makes it difficult to understand the levels of pollution experienced by citizens in their daily lives.

Advances in sensors, IoT and mobile communications technologies have led to the emergence of smaller, portable, low cost, mobile-enabled sensors that can measure and report air quality to cloud-based platforms in near real time. Big Data capabilities, such as analytics and machine learning, can then be applied to this and related data sets, such as weather and traffic, to understand the causes and fluctuations in air pollution.

To illustrate the potential value of deploying large numbers of these IoT air quality sensors within cities, the GSMA working with the Royal Borough of Greenwich (Greenwich) in London deployed the Smogmobile as a PROXY for a large array of individual mobile IoT sensors.

The Smogmobile (”, is an electric vehicle containing a high quality air quality laboratory which sampled and measured the roadside air quality every minute as it was driven around Greenwich for eight days during two consecutive weeks in July 2017.

The results from the Smogmobile illustrate the types of insights that may be obtained from the deployment of large numbers of IoT air quality sensors carried by citizens as they move around the city.