Google Maps has released a slew of new features to help you navigate more sustainably. By providing new ways to navigate the company aims to reduce emissions hence providing more environmentally friendly options to masses when travelling from one place to another. This includes lite navigation for cyclists, bike and scooter share information as well as eco-friendly routes.
The company introduced the features via a blog post that said, “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.”
Apart from displaying the fastest route, Google Maps will also show the most fuel-efficient routes to the users by using the company’s AI algorithms. According to the search giant users have the option to choose between two routes: fuel-efficient or fastest route. One can compare the ETA difference between the two routes and choose the one that works best for them.
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 saves drivers money on gas — something that’s good for both people and the planet.”
On the other hand the Lite navigation for cyclists, bike users can quickly see important details about their route without needing to keep their screen on or enter turn-by-turn navigation since their phone is usually tucked away for most of their ride. They can easily track their trip progress, can get ETA updates in real-time and know the elevation of their route while they are riding. According to the company, Lite navigation will go live on Google Maps in the coming months for Android and iOS devices.
Whereas the Bike and scooter share information will let users find nearby stations and even pinpoint how many vehicles are available at that moment in places like Berlin, New York, São Paulo and Taipei. This functionality on Google Maps will be available to over 300 cities around the world on Android and iOS.
The Blog post stated, “And when you’re done with your ride, you can make sure there’s a place to park before heading over to the station. This expansion is made possible thanks to micro-mobility partners like the Donkey Republic, Tier and Voi based in Europe, along with Bird and Spin, which are headquartered in the U.S.”
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