Google Maps does not only provide navigation but also provides many practical features for its users. And in recent years, the firm has also developed a lot of novelties intended to help the user reduce his impact on the planet.
For example, since last year, Google has been offering a feature in the United States that shows the user the route that consumes the least fuel (and this one is not always the shortest). And this week, the firm announces the arrival of this functionality in 40 European countries.
“With an eco-friendly route, you can choose an optimized route to reduce fuel consumption, which saves you money on fuel and reduces carbon emissions, which is a priority for many Europeans”explained Rubén Lozano-Aguilera, product manager at Google Maps.
In addition to displaying indications on the duration of the journey, Google Maps will also inform the user about the fuel consumption, which will allow him, if he wishes, to move in a more eco-responsible way. According to Google, following the launch of this function in the USA and Canada, it would have already avoided the emission of more than half a million metric tons of carbon, which is equivalent to the withdrawal of the circulation of 100,000 gasoline cars.
If you use an electric car, Google has also thought of you
In addition, Google has already improved this saving feature for motorists. While at first it only concerned cars with combustion engines, Google has decided to add an option that allows the user to select their type of engine, and therefore to have more optimized indications. .
“For example, diesel engines are generally more efficient at higher speeds than petrol or gas engines, while hybrid and electric vehicles perform better in traffic jams”recalls Lozano-Aguilera. “That’s why, in the coming weeks, we will allow drivers using eco-routing in Europe, the United States and Canada to select their engine type – petrol or gas, diesel, hybrid or electric vehicle (EV) – in order to get the best route and the most accurate fuel consumption or fuel efficiency estimates. »
The official explains that to develop this functionality, Google uses data from the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the European Environment Agency. This information is combined with trends observed by Google Maps, to feed machine learning models, taking into account the most popular engine types and regions.
And for drivers of electric vehicles, Google also recalls that its application already allows you to search for charging stations, with detailed information on these stations. In some cases, it is even possible to know in real time if a charger is available.