Air pollution has been a major problem affecting us since the dawn of the industrial revolution. With the ever growing number of vehicles being manufactured, the need for methods to regulate emissions is increasing. The below proposal is a method to reduce air pollution by reducing overall vehicle usage and controlling air pollution through taxing.
Firstly, we have to encourage people to reduce private vehicle usage and encourage public transport usage. To ensure this, the need of a smart card system is required that rewards a user for usage of public transport and takes away points for using private vehicle. This is done by using a network of sensors across public transport as well as signals. The system identifies whether the user is using private or public transport using the following method. The vehicle registration number of the private vehicle is linked to the card. Traffic signals have an optical character recognition type camera that identifies the vehicle based on its registration number thus identifying the user. The network of cameras identify the vehicle and compares location and time to determine approximate distance travelled by the vehicle. In the case of public transport; they are fitted with a card reader. When the user enters the vehicle, they have to scan the card and also scan when they exit. The total distance travelled between these two scans is measured and stored. A single point is awarded for every 10km ride in public transport and a two points are deducted for every 10km ride in a private vehicle. Each point is equal to 1km ride in public transport. These points are credited to the user's smart card for later use.
Air pollution can be further controlled using a smart parking system where each parking spot contains an ultrasonic sensor and the user can identify the exact location of vacant parking position thus saving vehicle run time and reducing emissions.
Thirdly, dividing different regions into zones and setting up air quality sensors on street lights and public transport can control air pollution. A safe threshold for air quality is given and each zone has to maintain values under that or else be taxed with a pollution tax. The tax rate increases with more pollutants.
These three systems use infrared camera, ultrasonic sensors and RFID or NFC readers. The smart card system can be replaced with NFC to make it more efficient and green by reducing the number of cards. The various sensors communicate with each other via WiFi module thus ensuring fast data transfer. The advantage of this system is its very cheap to set up as most air quality sensors and ultrasonic sensors are easily available and cheap. The usage of solar panels in the camera and other sensors can reduce dependence on other energy sources ensuring free and clean energy. The advantage of this system over other systems is that most of the other systems only identify the problem and does not do much to tackle it. But this system provides a medium to solve the issue and properly rewards the user for their efforts thus helping them to identify sustainable activities as rewarding instead of just viewing them as obligations.