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Pollution prediction meter in automobiles & display panels over the roads + Emissions trading



Now with pollution prediction meters and panels installed in some urban roads in some of the big cities, Why can't we give an awareness on pollution, polluting gases, effects etc. on installing a pollution meter on the cars, it might seems a little lame but it might work on some level of pollution awareness of the daily car users. I already saw some of the car-sharing website like where they indicate the pollution level caused by their cars. In India they have also started planting some plants capable of absorbing more CO2 along the road-dividers. 

This idea would not only promote the awareness to the people but also its will be the future marketing strategy for the car manufacturers. This will also promote the emission trading concept in small scale level.

Category of the action

Building efficiency: Physical Action

What actions do you propose?

  • Installation of pollution meters in each cars. With the pollution meter, some points can be awarded to the drivers with low level of pollution caused by them. There are pollution tests conducted in the automobiles from time to time to have the pollution in check, but the same can be improved by having a pollution meter on-board which can restrict the amount of pollution to some extent.
  • Promoting government to strictly impose rules regarding the pollution level, for example. recent pollution tax per car type imposed in the United Kingdom.
  • I know there are enough pollution awareness via ads in newspaper, television and internet, but even then public panels with some live data will add something to the this cause.


Example: Early this year in Paris, due to pollution and cold climate there were heavy smog (nothing compared to china) so the government decided to make the common transport for 3-4 days and said the car users can only drive on alternate days if there is one person in the car, and if they are traveling in group they can drive all day, which was a loss for government but then on the other end it showed the public the difference that could make if we use more public transport and avoid the personal transport wherever and whenever possible.

I live on the side of a outer-ring road in Paris, so the noise level is very high. Now the government has lowered the speed limit thereby reducing the noise level significantly. Also they redid the tarmac with some new technology and material wherein the noise level is reduced.

The basic idea would be the meter would predict the amount of polluting gases emitted from the exhaust or tail pipe of the vehicle, placing sensors in the tail pipe and the setting on the meter would be selecting fuel : petrol/diesel, default car brand, engine capacity will predict the pollution level. Also we can have dynamic reading based on the travelling speed, acceleration, use of A/C etc.

Who will take these actions?

  • The car manufacturers
  • The local automobile association
  • The government.

Awareness to the public by forum, ads, public panels etc.

In UK they have imposed pollution tax starting from 1 april 2014,, They also have an application to predict the vehicle's pollution level based on fuel type, year, engine type etc.

For the automobile manufacturers point of view, this implication of pollution tax & compulsory pollution meter on the cars will make them to make cars that pollute less, as said early from the marketing point of view for them it would be advantage by advertising "the least polluting Car". Those modifications also include stop–start (idle-off) systems in which the engine shuts down when the car is stopped during driving; low rolling-resistance tires (which are harder and thus less flat, reducing friction); variable valve timing for engines, which increases gas consumption efficiency; and fuel economy computers or displays to encourage eco-driving, such as such as those in the Toyota Prius, which show miles per gallon averages for that moment, hour, week or month, or when riding downhill, so that drivers are more aware of how their driving impacts fuel efficiency.

The other action, I would like to propose is to impose the pollution limit for racing tracks for public and official races as well, being a huge F1 fan myself started to think man those cars are fast even so they have given us some beautiful technology and inventions for the road cars, but just for amusement they burn the fuel faster which indeed pollutes more.

Finally from, "We already have the technology and the means to get us on the road to making our cars 50 percent more fuel efficient," ITF Secretary General Jack Short said at the press conference releasing the report. "All that is needed are coordinated efforts and actions from both industry and governments."

Where will these actions be taken?

To start with it can be done some of the more polluted cities like in china, India and also in Europe. 

The modern automobile engines are already following some strict regulations (like EURO 4 & 5), but in some of the places they still use the old engines like been in family for long, second hand vehicles etc which emit more polluting gases, so these polluting meters can be imposed on the used car dealers + the vehicles which has run a significant years (especially diesel engines)

As per my knowledge the people in the major cities of China are suffering to get some unpolluted air.

New update! as indicated early UK has already started implementing the pollution tax for the vehicles based on their polluting capability. So the developed country want to keep their atmosphere clean has started their part, so it would be first implemented in the developing and most polluted country to avoid further pollution.

How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

From,The world's car fleet is set to triple by 2050 to two billion autos with 80 percent of that growth coming from rapidly industrializing nations like India that currently do not have fuel economy rules (although the fastest growing car market—China—has tougher regulations than the U.S.). Over that time, CO2 output from autos is projected to double to six gigatons if it follows its current path. Cars account for nearly half of all CO2 emissions from transport.

So with the onset of EURO 6 norm for automobiles which would be implemented for registration and sales of new cars from September 2015 the car manufacturers has to come up with less polluting cars to survive in the market, so these simple pollution meter would be a marketing advantage for them as well as create awareness for the people at less price. And moreover it would make the public to boycott used old engines which pollute more (we can recycle them), and go for new less polluting vehicles

What are other key benefits?

Along with the reduction in the air pollution,  the noise pollution can also be reduced to some extent. 

This meter installation will promote/provoke the car manufacturer's to find some more new ideas to reduce the pollution by inventing new exhaust technology, engine technology etc as this will improve their marketing/sales over a vast market just by saying "our car pollutes less".

Imposing pollution tax based on car capacity, polluting level, etc the income for the governement by this taxes can be put to good use for futher development of road and planting more trees.

What are the proposal’s costs?

For the cost part, for the new cars the polluting meters can be integrated one, but for the existing cars there should be a add-on kind of meter. My prediction is that it wont cost more than some 50-100 euros (just prediction) for each meters at initial but it might reduce eventually, 

On the government side for example, the UK government has imposed pollution tax that we have to pay every 6 months or each Year. This would make the public to go for less polluting cars which indeed are the small cars = less space occupied = more parking spots (again revenue for the government and some private parking).

On the negative side, this will make the automobile manufacturers to spend more money on their R&D but on the other hand if they suceed they can/would make ton of money. 

Time line

The immediate actions would involve,

  • Installing live display panels over the city roads, highways indicating the present pollution level along with the traffic details, speed limit, weather etc which they do now.
  • Implementing the concept of "Emissions trading" which now exist in large scale, but we need them in the small scale as well.


For medium term,

  • 5-15 years in the major polluted cities. Depending on the results of the first phase, the later can be done with some improvement done from the studies during the first phase.
  • Again implementing the concept of "Emissions trading".
  • Along with the New EURO 6 standard, implementing compulsory pollution meter.


for long term,

  • Compulsory pollution meter in all new cars produced and sold.
  • Pollution harvesting with more CO2 absorbing plants.
  • All cars must have start-stop at idle, no foot on pedal-constant speed setting in car on the highway, 


Related proposals


urban pollution

Emissions trading