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September 2022

Google Maps introduces “eco-friendly routing”

Enrica Lazzarini

Mountain View giant announced the introduction of the new feature in 40 European countries, after the implementation in US, Canada and Germany: routes will be estimated taking into account the type of engine used
Fuel saving and faster routes, something close to the heart of the average motorist and one that has come back to the forefront in the post covid era, aided by soaring fuel prices. All of us by now are accustomed to setting the navigator on a daily basis either for home-to-work commuting or to reach a holiday destination, in an effort to find the fastest route without traffic or accidents.

However, what if there were other options that could help the motorist save on fuel? That's precisely the goal of Google Maps latest function. The "eco-friendly routes" option was introduced at the beginning of this year in the U.S., Canada and Germany, and since September 7 in more than 40 other European countries, including Italy. The new feature allows users to choose a route to optimize fuel consumption while reducing harmful emissions. The new feature is based on a mix of data collected by Google, the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and data from the European Environment Agency. Such big data, compared with driving and traffic habits collected daily via Google Maps, has enabled the development of advanced machine learning models trained on the most popular engine types, thus allowing the user to choose the most fuel-efficient route based on the vehicle's engine type, whether petrol, diesel, hybrid or electric. It should be noted, however, that LPG and CNG engines are currently still missing from this option.

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