Google Maps to start showing more eco-friendly routes

The mapping app will show users way to reduce emissions on their journeys.
The mapping app will show users way to reduce emissions on their journeys.

Google Maps is to begin showing drivers more eco-friendly routes as part of efforts to cut carbon footprints.

The navigation feature in the mapping app will calculate fuel consumption based on factors such as road incline and congestion to help users reduce the environmental impact of a journey.

Google said the feature will default to the eco-friendly route when it offers roughly the same arrival time as the fastest route, but even when it is significantly slower the navigation will also show the eco-friendly route so users can choose.

People who always want the fastest route will be able to adjust the app settings, Google added, with the new tool coming to Android and iOS versions.

The new feature is part of Google’s efforts to combat climate change, and will also see low emission zone alerts added to the app in June.

When drivers navigate into designated low emission zones in many cities around the world, they will receive a notification offering more details.

“From Amsterdam to Jakarta, cities around the world have established low emission zones — areas that restrict polluting vehicles like certain diesel cars or cars with specific emissions stickers — to help keep the air clean,” Google said in a blog post.

“To support these efforts, we’re working on alerts to help drivers better understand when they’ll be navigating through one of these zones.

“You can quickly know if your vehicle is allowed in the area, choose an alternative mode of transportation, or take another route. Low emission zone alerts launch this June in Germany, the Netherlands, France, Spain and the UK on Android and iOS, with more countries coming soon.”