Rennes bus
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Keolis, Rennes’ partner to improve air quality

Rennes bus
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PostedJAN. 19, 2022
Words byKeolis, Barcelona, 08019
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The European Air Quality and Mobility project (AQMO), co-financed by the European Union, aims to improve air quality in public transit within the Rennes metro area in Brittany, home to nearly 450,000 residents. AQMO is the first European smart city initiative working to provide a global platform based on high-performance computing.

Context: Improving air quality, a societal challenge 

Air quality is a societal challenge that lies at the crossroads of many different expertise sets. Mobility players and communities need to measure it efficiently and regularly in their public transit systems. 

Micro-sensors for fine particulates on Keolis Rennes buses
Micro-sensors for fine particulates on Keolis Rennes buses

Innovation: Micro-sensors for fine particulates on Keolis Rennes buses   

Created in September 2018, the AQMO consortium – a scientific, technical and economic partnership – brings together several local and national players: Keolis, the city of Rennes, University of Rennes 1, CNRS / IDRIS and Air Breizh. Their joint project is to continuously measure air quality in the Rennes public transit system using high-performance computing (HPC). Eight Keolis Rennes buses were thus equipped with micro-sensors for fine particulates. The resulting data will then be processed and shared in map form – over a cloud platform – with residents, local authorities, scientists and businesses, making Rennes a true smart city.    

Benefits: Offering better air quality to the people of Rennes    

By using micro-sensors, AQMO will carry out rigorous and continuous measurements of the air quality across a vast area, all at a low cost. Implementing the HPC system will help to better characterize pollution in the Rennes metro area and enable improved decision-making, notably in terms of urban planning (for example, by comparing the impact of development scenarios). By offering this new type of analysis and rolling out a network of connected sensors throughout the city, the AQMO consortium will also reinvigorate the local economy and job market, while encouraging residents to take action for better air quality.

Buses and air quality
Buses and air quality

Next steps: spread the AQMO system to other smart cities    

By using a wide network of partners, the project’s key players can communicate their observations to scientific communities, policymakers and residents. The AQMO methodology to boost smart cities can be applied to other urban areas and organizations seeking to replicate the Rennes metro area example. Finally, installing smart objects on buses may serve uses beyond air quality improvement, such as remote maintenance or passenger information.