Google's Street View cars are primarily used for collecting panoramic imagery of major cities and tourist attractions around the world, but that's not the only task they're mandated with. Google has outfitted a few Street View cars with methane sensors that enable the cars to check for natural gas leaks in the surrounding areas.
Google Earth Outreach teamed up with the Environmental Defense Fund back in July to launch a test pilot of three Street View cars outfitted with methane detectors, and sent the vehicles to Boston, Staten Island, and Indianapolis. The results of the month long survey are in, and as you can discern from the images below, they highlight the fact that older gas lines, like the ones in Boston, are more prone to leakage. While none of the gas leaks pose any immediate threat, the EDF and Google are working with regulators in monitoring and prioritizing repairs.
Google will be launching more methane sniffing Street View vehicles in other cities over the coming months. What do you guys think of the initiative? What other sensors would you like to see on Street View cars?