"Google Maps Rolls Out ‘Eco-Friendly’ Routes"

"The update to the browser and app versions of Google Maps will show you more carbon-efficient routes."

"If you’re a regular Google Maps user, you might be able to use the app to make less emissions-intensive choices in the future. Google announced on Wednesday that it is adding options to show drivers less carbon-intensive routes on the Maps app, along with a slew of other individual-focused tools like showing the carbon footprint of flights.

The new feature is available in the U.S. now and will become an option in Europe next year. The service is powered by Google’s own AI and data from the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Google said that it estimates the feature could avoid more than 1 million tons of carbon emissions per year, or the equivalent of taking 200,000 cars from the road. (Google didn’t provide any information as to how they arrived at this calculation, or how many Google users would have to consistently use the feature to get those savings.)

The fastest route in a car is not always the most carbon-efficient. Things like stop-and-go traffic and the smoothness of your driving can also affect emissions. Studies have also shown that most cars have a speed “sweet spot” when it comes to efficiency. Driving below 35 mph (56 kph) and above 65 mph (105 kph) tend to result in more emissions. Google said its data will also take into account things like road types, inclines, and congestion to help with its calculations."

Molly Taft reports for Earther October 6, 2021.


"Google Flights Adding Environmental Impact Of Users' Travel" (The Hill)

Source: Earther, 10/07/2021