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Creation of the Ambiciti start-up

Today, we are becoming increasingly aware of the effects of environmental pollution.Pollution has become a major public health issue, as a large majority of European citizens are exposed to levels of pollution considered harmful to health.

As a result everyone, from the individual to economic actors through to the decision-makers, must be in a position to take decisions aiming to restrict noise and air exposure, and even the production of environmental pollution; for this they need to be informed about it, from an individual to a collective level.

The creation of the Ambiciti start-up addresses this requirement by capitalising on over 10 years of research and innovation in the field of digital sciences and technologies of the Inria research centre in Paris and its partners.

The aim of the Ambiciti start-up is to produce - and make available to all - the best assessment of exposure to environmental pollution, in particular thanks to hourly pollution maps (noise, air,a minima ) up to street-level resolution, i.e. with a very high level of accuracy. This is extremely innovative. In order to do this, it has developed a platform for the collection and analysis of environmental pollution data, combining all relevant data sources - digital simulations, observations from fixed sensors, observations from mobile sensors, qualitative observations - to produce a real-time "street by street" mapping of environmental pollution focussing, in the first instance, on air and noise quality.  

In this way, Ambiciti wants to meet a growing demand from private sector actors for environmental data and the expectations of citizens in terms of information.

© Inria / Photo C. Morel

Backed by EIT Digital as part of a "Digital Cities" innovation project, the Ambiciti start-up has developed a mobile application of the same name thanks to Inria and the SMEs NUMTECH and TheCivicEngine, within the scope of Inria@SiliconValley and CityLab@Inria.

The co-founders of the Ambiciti start-up are experts in the Internet of Things and distributed systems (Valérie Issarny, Pierre-Guillaume Raverdy; Inria), the combined processing of environmental simulations and observations (Vivien Mallet; Inria), air quality (Pierre Béal; Numtech) and of the health consequences of environmental pollution (Rajiv Bhatia; doctor, former head of the San Francisco health/environment department).

Find out more about the Ambiciti application

The Ambiciti application, which is revolutionary in the real-time analysis of air and noise pollution, is already being used in Paris and in several European and American cities.  

The Ambiciti application enables the monitoring of individual and collective exposure to noise and air pollution. It allows for the measurement of ambient noise using a phone microphone (whilst respecting the user's privacy, as it sends a noise level measurement to the system and not the sound picked up by the microphone), the monitoring of exposure during the day and the mapping of a neighbourhood, alone or in a group. It also provides information on the levels of air quality, hour by hour, in real time, as well as forecasts for the days to come. Ambiciti is the first application to propose air quality maps at street-level resolution, for an accurate assessment of one’s exposure. An itinerary service makes it possible for pedestrians to choose a route that minimises exposure to noise or air pollution. This service is currently available for Amsterdam, Greater London, Hamburg, Helsinki, Paris, San Francisco, 18 Spanish cities and numerous cities in Switzerland. The application is available for free on Google Play (Android) and the App Store (iOS).

Ambiciti replaces the SoundCity application, which focussed on noise pollution and was launched in July 2015 with the backing of the Paris city council. SoundCity's success enabled the collection of over 70 million noise measurements from voluntary users. The Ambiciti application integrates all of the functionalities of SoundCity, and in December 2016 was awarded a "Décibel d'Argent" (Silver Decibel) by the French National Noise Council.

Keywords: Analyse Pollution Atmosphérique Sonore Inria de Paris Création Start-up Ambiciti