Google announced today that it is expanding its eco-friendly routing options on Google Maps to 40 more countries in Europe. Eco-friendly routes, first introduced to users in the US last year, offer to show more economical routes instead of the fastest. Users can see the eco-friendly route marked with a leaf label.
To adjust settings for eco-friendly routes, users can tap their profile picture on Google Maps, go to Settings > Navigation Settings, then scroll down to Route Options. Users can tap the “Preference for fuel-efficient routes” option to enable or disable fuel-efficient routes.
The company is also launching a new feature that allows car owners to choose their vehicle’s engine type to get personalized suggestions for fuel-efficient routes that best suit their engine. In the coming weeks, users will be able to go to the settings mentioned above and select the engine type – petrol or gas, diesel, hybrid or electric vehicle (EV) – for navigation.
“This technology was made possible thanks to insights from the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and data from the European Environment Agency. By linking this information to trends in Google Maps, 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 US and Canada, it was able to save CO2 emissions equivalent to 100,000 cars.
Over the years, Google has tried to encourage people to use more eco-friendly navigation options by introducing new features to Google Maps. In 2018, the company introduced information about EV charging stations in the app for the first time. In July, the company introduced bicycle navigation features with details such as the amount of car traffic and types of roads along the route.