Google announced today it is expanding its options for eco-friendly routing on Google Maps to 40 more countries across Europe. Eco-friendly routes, first introduced to U.S.-based users last year, offer to show more fuel-efficient routes instead of the fastest ones. Users can see the eco-friendly route marked with a leaf label.
To adjust settings for eco-friendly routes, users can tap on their profile picture on Google Maps, head to Settings > Navigation Settings, then scroll down to Route Options. Users can tap on the "Prefer fuel-efficient routes" option to turn on or turn off fuel-efficient routing.
The company is also launching a new feature for car owners to choose their vehicle's engine type to get personalized suggestions for fuel-efficient routes best suited for the engine. In the coming weeks, users will be able to head to the settings mentioned above, and select the engine type — petrol or gas, diesel, hybrid or electric vehicle (EV) — for navigation.
Engine selector option for eco-friendly routes on Google Maps. Image Credits: Google
"This technology is made possible thanks to insights from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and data from the European Environment Agency. By pairing this information with Google Maps driving trends, we were able to develop advanced machine learning models trained on the most popular engine types in a given region," the company said in a blog post.
Google claimed that after introducing eco-friendly routes in the U.S. and Canada it has been able to save carbon emissions equivalent to 100,000 cars.
Over the years, Google has tried to encourage people to take more eco-friendly navigation options by introducing new features in Google Maps. In 2018, the firm first introduced EV charging station information to the app. In July, the company rolled out features for bike navigation with details like the amount of car traffic and types of roads along the route.