Sustainable journeys with Google Maps

If we should ask “Raise your hands all who never used Google Maps”, almost no one will answer. Nowadays we use this app even to walk the streets of our city centres. The latest news for the internet geographic service developed by Google is that today, together with the quickest route or the choice between with or without fee, it is possible to choose also alternatives for sustainable journeys.

In Italy this service is still on update, but after being launched successfully in U.S. and Canada it has been experimented in Germany, first country in Europe to have it. But what is it? How does it work? And, above all, what are the benefits on the environment and our family budget? According to press agency Ansa, this new functionality allows the choice of “the best route to reduce fuel waste, so as to reduce carbon dioxide emissions”. This is a real concern for the near future of our Planet, given that road transport (according to Statista 2022 report) is the main source of carbon dioxide emissions in Europe and so the main reason for global warming. Once the app is started and departure point and final destination have been entered, the system allows us to choose the most efficient route, as far as fuel consumption is concerned. Which at the end, almost surprisingly, can result in being the quickest too. As Rubén Lozano-Aguilera, senior product manager of Google Maps, explains: “With few steps you can see the fuel saving and the difference in time between the two routes, so as to choose the one that is most fit for you. Would you like to choose always the fastest, in any case? No problem, just fix your preferences in the settings”. If you are wondering if benefits for the environment are and will be real, here are the data about the places where the new Google Maps is already working. Since the launch in U.S., Canada and Germany it has been estimated that the function “sustainable route” has helped in saving more than half a million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to 100,000 fewer cars on the roads. The choice for the route with the lowest fuel consumption will depend also on the engine of one’s own car. For this reason, soon an option will be available when choosing the sustainable route – to select gasoline or gas, diesel, hybrid or electric, according to the car we are driving.

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