Google Maps now shows the lowest carbon route for car journeys

This story was originally posted by The Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Office collaboration.

Google Maps provides drivers with the least polluting route for their chosen route under the search company’s new eco-friendly policies.

Motorists will be able to choose the route with the lowest carbon emissions once factors such as traffic and road height differences are taken into account. The new product was launched in the United States on Wednesday and will launch in Europe next year. When comparable travel times are broadly the same, Google Maps will default to the lowest carbon option.

the CEO of Google, Sundar pichai, said the initiative could save 1 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, the equivalent of taking 200,000 cars off the road.

“Traveling by car is one of the most carbon-intensive choices people make every day. Departure [Wednesday] in the United States and Europe in 2022, Google Maps will allow you to choose the route with the lowest carbon emissions if it is not already the fastest, ”said Pichai.

Google added that this will make it easier for online car buyers to see hybrid and electric vehicle options and compare them to models powered exclusively by fossil fuels.

Other green initiatives announced by the tech company include posting information about emissions to its airfare search engine, Google Flights. Starting Wednesday, users around the world will be able to see the carbon emissions per seat for each flight and the low carbon flight options. Hotel searches will also include information about hotel sustainability efforts.

Google also revealed changes in shopping searches. When users are looking for energy-hungry appliances like dishwashers or water heaters, the suggestions in its purchase tab will help shoppers turn to sustainable options.

Google announced in 2020 that it intends to be powered exclusively by low carbon energy by 2030.

“Climate change is no longer a distant threat,” Pichai said. “It’s more and more local and personal. Around the world, forest fires, floods and other extreme weather events continue to affect our health, our economies and our future together on our planet. We need urgent and meaningful solutions to meet this urgent challenge. “

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