Ford’s Patent Tracks How Much Your Car is Polluting

Ford wants to track if you took the long way home.

The auto manufacturer is seeking to patent a system for “estimating emissions” in a vehicle. Ford’s system allows drivers to get an estimate of how much pollution their vehicle may be emitting in real-time using AI.

To break it down: Ford’s system utilizes at least one “exhaust emission sensor” to track the concentration of certain substances, such as nitrogen oxide, ammonia and oxygen in a car’s exhaust gas. Ford’s sensors then feed this data to a machine learning model that’s been trained under “on-road conditions,” which predicts the real-time level of emissions of these different exhaust gas constituents.

Ford’s system then assesses and adjusts the performance of the car’s “emissions aftertreatment system,” which helps reduce exhaust pollutants before they’re let off into the air. Along with tracking the expected lifetime of a vehicle or fleet’s aftertreatment systems, these outputs overtime “may be used to inform engine operating parameters in future fleets.”


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