Google expands eco-friendly directions into Europe


Google Maps is expanding its “eco-friendly” route to users in 40 countries across Europe.

The app update allows drivers to choose a route that’s optimized for lower fuel consumption by showing the most fuel-efficient routes. This helps users save money on fuel while cut carbon emissions.

The ability to reduce emissions is a great concern among the EU countries, as road transportation contributes the majority of emissions throughout the continent. The internet giant’s roll-out of eco-friendly routing appears to be a timely intervention.

In addition to showing the fastest route, Google Maps can now also display the one that’s most fuel efficient across European nations. After introducing the feature in Germany last month, the eco-friendly routing is now available in France, Ireland, Poland, Spain, and the UK. Users can see the eco-friendly route marked with a leaf label.

The feature was originally launched in the US and Canada last year. For Google, “eco-friendly” means fuel efficient, and it’s considered by Google part of its sustainability initiatives.

The company claimed that the eco-friendly routes has helped save carbon emissions equivalent to 100,000 cars in the U.S. and Canada. That equals to removing over half a million metric tonnes of emissions.

The eco-friendly routing feature will highlight routes that use less energy if they have a similar ETA to other alternate routes.

The most fuel-efficient route will vary based on what type of fuel their cars run on. For instance, diesel engines are usually more efficient at higher speeds than petrol or gas, while hybrid and electric vehicles perform better in stop-and-go traffic.

That’s the reason why Google will allow drivers using its eco-friendly routing across Europe, Canada, and the US in the coming weeks to select their engine type to get the best route and most accurate fuel or energy efficiency estimates.

In recent years, Google has been encouraging people to select more eco-friendly navigation options with new features in Google Maps, such as EV charging station information introduced in 2018.

Two years later, Google Flights also allowed flyers to compare CO2 emissions and overall price. The firm also rolled out features for bike navigation with details like the amount of road traffic along the route.

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