Sustainability Environment

New Google Maps feature could save 1 million tons of carbon emissions a year

Story at a glance

  • Google has launched a mapping feature that could save 1 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
  • Drivers using Google Maps will be able to select a route with the lowest carbon emissions when comparing routes with similar estimated travel times.
  • The map feature, which debuts in the U.S. on Wednesday, takes into account factors such as traffic and road inclines when determining the most eco-friendly route.

Google has launched a mapping feature that could save 1 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, the company’s chief executive said Tuesday. 

Drivers using Google Maps will be able to select a route with the lowest carbon emissions when comparing routes with similar estimated travel times, CNBC reported. The map feature, which debuts in the U.S. on Wednesday, takes into account factors such as traffic and road inclines when determining the most eco-friendly route. 

Google partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab to deliver the recommended routes, Sarah-Jayne Williams, a director for Google Maps, said. 


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“We believe the feature will have the same impact next year as taking over 200,000 cars off the road,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a pre-recorded statement at a press event unveiling a suite of environmentally conscious policies on Tuesday.

“Traveling by car is one of the more carbon-intensive choices people make on a daily basis. Starting [Wednesday] in the US, and in Europe in 2022, Google Maps will let you choose the route with the lowest carbon emissions if it isn’t already the fastest one,” Pichai added.

Google also revealed several other sustainability features, including emissions information on flights as well as an option for users to review emissions initiatives taken by prospective hotels. 

“Today, climate change is more than a threat,” Pichai said. “It is a real and present danger. From wildfires to flooding to more frequent and severe storms, climate change is the most profound risk we face, one that affects our health, our economies and our future together on this planet.”

Google previously announced its goal to power its operation with low carbon energy by 2030.


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