Google Maps will now show eco-friendly routes to destinations

Google Maps will soon show more eco-friendlier routes compared to the fastest route that can reduce the overall carbon footprint in the long-run.

While Google Maps has been showing its users the fastest route to their destinations, it has now directed its efforts to show drivers the most eco-friendly route possible using AI technology.

Launching in the US first, the new feature is part of a commitment that Google made in September 2020 to become ‘carbon-free by 2030’.

“With insights from the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab, we’re building a new routing model that optimises for lower fuel consumption based on factors like road incline and traffic congestion,” Google shared in a blog post.

In fact, the maps will soon show more eco-friendlier routes compared to the fastest routes.

In cases where the eco-friendly routes can increase the ETA significantly, users can “compare the relative CO2 impact between routes and choose, it added.

“From Amsterdam to Jakarta, cities around the world have established low emission zones — areas that restrict polluting vehicles like certain diesel cars or cars with specific emissions stickers — to help keep the air clean,” the blog post read.

“To support these efforts, we’re working on alerts to help drivers better understand when they’ll be navigating through one of these zones.”

The feature is soon to be launched in the US on both Android and iOS phones. The low-emission alerts will be available in countries, including Germany, The Netherlands, France, Spain, and the UK in the coming months.

Along with this feature, the company will also analyse the air quality along the way. This feature will be first launched in Australia, India, and the US.

Since its launch in 2005, Google Maps has been seeing a slew of changes with newer innovations and feedback from its one billion active monthly users. But with environmental concerns of climate change, global warming, and its resulting impacts, including glacier melts and forest fires, every step towards sustainability makes a difference, and Google is on its track to achieve it.

Edited by Suman Singh


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