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Using artificial intelligence, engineers from Cornell University have simplified and strengthened models that can accurately calculate the soot, dust and exhaust emitted by trucks, cars and other vehicles. Thus, allowing for better analysis of urban air pollution and the risk it poses to the human lungs.

According to new research that was published in December of 2022, artificial intelligence might soon be used for more precise accounting of the well-being of urban citizens and the quality of air which they breathe.

“Infrastructure determines our living environment, our exposure,” said senior author Oliver Gao, the Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering at Cornell University. “Air pollution impact due to transportation — put out as exhaust from the cars and trucks that drive on our streets — is very complicated. Our infrastructure, transportation and energy policies are going to impact air pollution and hence public health.”

Previous methods to gauge air pollution were cumbersome and reliant on extraordinary amounts of data points. “Older models to calculate particulate matter were computationally and mechanically consuming and complex,” said Gao. “But if you develop an easily accessible data model, with the help of artificial intelligence filling in some of the blanks, you can have an accurate model at a local scale.”

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