Google Maps to make a significant update to routes
Google Maps announced Tuesday that it will begin leading drivers along routes estimated to create the lowest carbon discharges based on traffic, slopes, and other factors.
Google, an Alphabet Inc company, stated that the feature would launch this year later in the US and ultimately implemented in other countries as part of its dedication to handle climate change through its services.
According to Google, unless users choose to quit the feature, the default path will be the "eco-friendly" one if comparable options take about the same time. When other options are exceptionally faster, Google will give the choices and let users compare estimated releases.
Russell Dicker, a director of product at Google, told reporters, “What we are noticing is for about half of routes, we are capable of finding an option eco-friendlier with slight or no time-cost trade-off".
Google said it derives emissions relative approximations by trying out different types of vehicles and road types, drawing on perceptions from the US government's National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). Whereas, road grade data derives from its Street View cars and aerial and satellite imagery.
The possible effect on emissions from the feature is unsure. But according to a study of 20 people at California State University, Long Beach, university researchers last year found that participants were more willing to consider carbon emissions in route selection after testing an app that displayed estimates.
Google's announcement also comprised additional climate-focused changes. From mid of this year, it will start warning drivers about travelling through low emissions zones where some automobiles are restricted in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK.
Soon, Google Maps users will be allowed to make comparisons among cars, biking, public transit, and other travel options in one place instead of switching between different categories.