Monday, May 18, 2015

Google Cars Sniffing Out Gas Leaks

Last year Google teamed up with the Environmental Defense Fund to equip Street View cars with air-quality sensors to detect natural gas leaks from utility pipes under city streets. Using the data collected by the Street View cars Google and EDF then create detailed maps showing where gas leaks are occurring and where gas pipes need to be fixed or replaced.

In July 2014 the EDF released maps from the experiment in New York, Boston and Philadelphia. The maps revealed that Boston and New York's ageing utility pipes result in a large number of leaks, while Philadelphia's newer gas pipe network is responsible for far fewer leaks.

Google has now used their specially equipped Street View cars to map out more than 1,000 miles of roads in Inglewood, Chino and Pasadena. You can see the results of the latest gas leak drive in the EDF's Los Angeles Area: Snapshot of Natural Gas Leaks map. The data gathered revealed an average of about one leak for every four miles driven in Pasadena, one leak for every five miles in Inglewood and one leak for every five miles in Chino.

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