A new sensor technology able to detect the emissions from passing cars could identify polluting vehicles without disrupting the flow of traffic.
The roadside sensor was created by a team from TU Graz as part of the European CARES (City Air Remote Emission Sensing) project, which aims to develop contactless exhaust monitors to help curb air pollution. The sensor works by ‘hearing’ the airborne pollutant particles, and involves using a laser to excite the particles between the fork and create an acoustic signal. The signal will become louder as more particles pass between the fork’s tines, allowing the amount of pollutants to be measured. Eventually, the sensor could be used along with a camera to capture an identifying image of the offending vehicle.