CeADAR AI project looks to tackle Vietnam air pollution

14 Mar 2023

Image: © Paul/Stock.adobe.com

The Healthy Air Project installed six monitoring stations across Ho Chi Minh City, and the data collected is used by AI to predict air pollution spikes days in advance.

A research collaboration between Ireland and Vietnam is looking to address air pollution in densely populated cities using AI.

CeADAR, the Irish research centre for applied AI, has completed the €350,000 Healthy Air Project to help monitor the levels of air pollution in Ho Chi Minh City, one of Vietnam’s most densely populated cities.

CeADAR said the city of almost nine million people had only one air quality monitoring station prior to this project. This is a stark contrast to Ireland, with more than 100 monitoring stations nationwide.

The city also has an estimated 7.3m motorbikes and roughly 7,300 annual deaths that are linked to air pollution.

Collaborating with Vietnam National University, CeADAR installed six air quality monitoring stations around the city. This data is then analysed with machine learning technology.

With this AI support, the CeADAR team is able to predict changes to pollution levels in different areas of the city a day or two in advance.

This data is then made available to the population with different colour coding – red, amber and green – to help people decide if they should travel to parts of the city based on its air pollution.

The long-term aim is to roll out the project to other cities in Vietnam, while also raising awareness about the hazard that air pollution poses to those living in densely populated areas.

The project was led by CeADAR’s director of innovation and development Ricardo Simon Carbajo, who thanked the Irish Research Council and Irish Aid for funding the project and making a “tangible difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable people on Earth”.

“We hope that these measures will eventually lead to an increased consciousness of air quality among the general population, educating them about how their environment is impacting their health and forcing lawmakers to make fundamental changes,” Simon Carbajo said.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic