Vehicles on the road account for over 75% of transportation CO2 emissions and are one of the largest contributors of greenhouse gasses worldwide, according to the International Energy Agency. Today at our Sustainable with Google event, we’re announcing three new Google Maps updates to help lower these emissions and provide people with greener choices when getting from A to B.
Eco-friendly routing: now live
Earlier this year, we announced that Google Maps would be updated with an entirely new routing model that not only gets you to your destination as quickly as possible, but also optimizes for lower fuel consumption — which saves you money on gas. Thanks to AI and insights from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), eco-friendly routing is rolling out now in the U.S. on Android and iOS, with plans to expand to Europe and beyond in 2022. We estimate that eco-friendly routing has the potential to prevent over one million tons of carbon emissions per year — that’s the equivalent of removing over 200,000 cars from the road.
Now, in addition to showing the fastest route, Google Maps will also display the one that’s the most fuel-efficient, if it doesn’t happen to also be the fastest. With just a few taps, you can see the relative fuel savings and ETA difference between the two routes and choose the one that works best for you. Always want to choose the fastest route, no matter what? That’s okay too — simply adjust your preferences in Settings.
According to Jeff Gonder, Center for Integrated Mobility Sciences at NREL, this is a positive change for everyone. “Not only does Google Maps’ eco-friendly routing bring NREL’s fuel-efficient technology from the lab to the road, but it has huge potential to significantly lower emissions and save drivers money on gas — something that’s good for both people and the planet.”