Green routes will appear in Google Maps – those that require fewer vehicle emissions. At the same time, the travel time will not change.
Google Maps will begin directing drivers to the routes they estimate are the most environmentally friendly based on a list of metrics. They will highlight trips that generate the lowest carbon footprint, using mostly traffic and slope data, the search engine says.
Google noted that the feature would be launched first in the US later this year, with “global expansion” ahead. The new feature is part of the company’s commitment to climate change.
The default route will be the standard route, but users can switch to the green option. When alternative routes are significantly faster, Google will choose and allow users to compare estimated emissions.
“For about half of the routes, we can find a greener option with little or no time investment,” said Russell Dicker, Google’s chief product officer.
The search engine, owned by Alphabet, said it is using emission data based on testing various vehicle types and road types, drawing on information from the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
They obtained road slope and slope data from their Street View vehicles and aerial and satellite imagery.