Google has introduced in two of its services, Maps and Flights, two options aimed at making its users aware of the the need to take care of the environment. In both cases, the aim is to convey to users the ecological footprint generated by their journeys and to show them how they can contribute to curbing climate change by choosing more sustainable routes.
Google Maps will show the route that involves less fuel expenditure and Flights will report how much carbon dioxide emitted by aircraft
As far as Google Maps is concerned, the app will no longer show only the fastest route to get to a point. From now on, Maps will also indicate the most sustainable route, i.e. the one with the lowest or most efficient fuel consumption.
To develop this tool, Google has incorporated data from the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. From this data, it estimates which is the most suitable route for reduce carbon dioxide emissions emissions into the atmosphere. Google’s goal is to reduce one million tons of emissions annually, which would be the equivalent of taking 200,000 cars off the road.
In the Google Maps app, this route will be marked in green. In addition, it will include information on how long it will take to make that journey and how much gas the driver will save by opting for it.
Environmental impact of flights
In the case of Google Flights, the company’s flight search engine, the tool informs users of the environmental impact of flights. In this way, buyers have detailed information on the carbon emissions of most of the flights offered on the platform. This estimate can be viewed alongside the price and duration of the flight.
This estimate will be variable depending on the flight and the seat chosen by the user. For example, the same amount of emissions will not be shown in first class or economy class seats as the former occupy more space and therefore account for a greater amount of emissions. In addition, it will take into account whether the airline uses older aircraft, which emit more carbon dioxide, or more modern aircraft.