Data Analysis Reveals the Intricate Relationship Between Air Quality and Transport

Driving Sustainability: Transport for West Midlands Harnesses Environmental and Transport Data Integration to Bolster Local Transport Plan

Vaisala’s Data Empowers Sustainable Transport Schemes: Transport for West Midlands Utilizes Weather and Environmental Sensors, Partnered with VivaCity Traffic Monitoring Sensors, to Measure Carbon Emissions and Air Quality, Driving Climate-Friendly Transportation Initiatives.

The West Midlands is the second largest region in the United Kingdom, where nearly six million residents live and work. In this geographically diverse area, TfWM has embarked on a journey that will change the way residents and others see and use local transport.

The vision to reimagine how people get around the region will result in an fairer, safer and healthier West Midlands, reducing the impact on the environment and encouraging sustainable travel.

Collaboration and innovation

TfWM engaged VivaCity to deploy 300 traffic monitoring sensors and 62 Vaisala weather and air quality measurement stations. This combination gives TfWM detailed and accurate traffic information and weather data across a large network.

Benefits of combining weather, air quality and traffic datasets

Each Vaisala sensor measures the most important urban pollutant gases (NO, NO2, O3, CO) and particles (PM1, PM2.5, PM10,) and is equipped with a weather transmitter that measures six of the most important weather parameters: air pressure, temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind speed and wind direction.

The weather and air quality insights help TfWM to understand not only current weather conditions across the region, but also the relationship between weather and traffic. Weather is one of the major causes of changes in traffic behaviour, and idle vehicles pollute much more than moving ones.

The weather and air quality insights, alongside traffic data, offer the potential for TfWM to optimise traffic signals and speed limits to help traffic move more smoothly, to reduce congestion and improve air quality.

About Vaisala

Vaisala is a global leader in weather, environmental, and industrial measurements. Building on 85 years of experience, Vaisala provides observations for a better world, with space-proof technology even exploring Mars and beyond. They are a reliable partner for customers around the world, offering a comprehensive range of innovative observation and measurement products and services. Headquartered in Finland, Vaisala employs over 2,000 professionals worldwide and is listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki stock exchange.

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Shifting to safer and more sustainable travel

They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

That adage never felt more appropriate than at this year’s CES. It certainly felt like I walked a thousand miles to see everything worth seeing at the world’s largest consumer electronics show.

My colleague, Samuli, was delighted by the shift to sustainable technology at CES 2023. For me, the highlight was the focus on electric cars, smart mobility, and software-defined vehicles. No doubt about it, the car is now tech, and this trend is redefining the whole automotive industry.

The software-defined car is going mainstream

The shift toward software-based technology is revolutionizing the car experience for drivers and passengers alike. Just like your smartphone and computer, a software-defined car can be updated and upgraded over the air to add new features and capabilities without having to replace expensive hardware components. This development is becoming a major driver of innovation and competitive differentiation in the automotive industry.

With Vaisala Xweather, we have a clear goal. We want to help automotive innovators make every journey safer and more efficient. At CES, we showed three examples of how real-time weather data combined with reliable forecasts can improve safety, comfort, and convenience for drivers and passengers.

Supporting safer advanced driver assistance systems

Road surface condition is one of many parameters available from the Vaisala Xweather Road Weather API.
Road surface condition is one of many parameters available from the Vaisala Xweather Road Weather API.


The race towards autonomous driving was on full display at CES. But there are still many challenges.

The set of conditions under which an autonomous vehicle (AV) is designed to operate safely is called the Operational Design Domain (ODD). The ODD includes information about the types of roads the AV can drive on, the speeds at which it can safely operate, the weather and lighting conditions under which it can safely navigate, and many other factors.

Vaisala Xweather is helping the automotive industry safely expand the ODD of autonomous vehicles by supplying accurate real-time road weather data.

Road weather refers to various weather conditions that can affect the safety and operation of vehicles on the road, such as rain, sleet, and snow, as well as other factors like fog and high winds. These conditions can have a significant impact on visibility, traction, and the overall stability of vehicles. In fact, the Federal Highway Administration estimates that every fifth road accident in the United States is weather-related.1

Road weather data helps reduce the risk of accidents by providing accurate real-time information about surface conditions beyond the vehicle’s line of sight. Weather-aware vehicles can also use road weather forecasts to find safer, more efficient routes and reduce drive time by avoiding roads with poor driving conditions.

Vaisala is ready to take this journey with you

Vaisala Xweather road weather data is trusted by the biggest names in the automotive industry: Audi, BMW, Bosch, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Rand McNally, Skoda, TomTom, and Volkswagen. Our advanced forecast models are built upon 85 years of weather expertise and over 20 years of pioneering work with road weather. But this is just the start.

The automotive industry is on the cusp of a major shift toward the software-defined car. This shift will bring a host of new challenges and opportunities for automakers, suppliers, and consumers alike. It is an exciting time to be involved in the automotive industry, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Read more about Xweather automotive solutions, or contact us with your questions.

Mr. Petri Marjava 

Vaisala | Head of Automotive

Read the full blog on Vaisala’s website

Image: Vaisala from the original Blog


1. “EV Survey Shows Range Anxiety High While Charging Costs Remain Low,” Forbes, June 28, 2022

Vaisala ranks 5th of Financial Times’ Climate Leaders 2022 list

Financial Times has listed European Climate Leaders 2022. The list includes European companies that achieved the greatest reduction in their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions between 2015 and 2020. Vaisala is proud to be in the top 5 of the list, increasing its ranking from place 14 the previous year.

Vaisala, a global leader in weather, environmental, and industrial measurements, is ranked 5th on the Financial Times list of European climate leaders. IPCC’s latest report on climate change highlights the urgency of climate actions and emissions reduction more than ever. Financial Times brings up the achievements that have been made thus far but also encourages companies to do more.

“Sustainability really is at the core of Vaisala, and it is a great honor to be included on the top of Financial Times’s Climate Leaders list once again. Our ranking last year was 14, which is excellent, but it is a true honor to take place 5 this year. As the latest IPCC report states, climate change is an even more urgent global challenge than we have originally thought. This calls also for actions from the private sector to step up and drive the change for our planet,” says Kai Öistämö, President and CEO, Vaisala.


Read the original press release on website