The Google Maps application.


Omar Marques / SOPA Images / Sipa / SIPA

Google announced on Tuesday several improvements to its map service Maps based on artificial intelligence, including the automatic display of journeys allowing users to optimize their carbon footprint.

“Soon, Google Maps will therefore offer by default the route with the lowest CO2 emissions when this route gives approximately the same arrival time as the fastest route”, wrote in a press release the vice-president in charge of products. at Google Maps.

“If the greener route is likely to increase travel time significantly, you will have the opportunity to compare the relative carbon impact of the two routes before making your choice,” he adds.

Google specifies that it will always be possible to display only the shortest route by modifying the preferences in the settings of the application.

Collaboration with government

To develop this new tool, the Californian group says it has collaborated with the National Renewable Energy Lab of the US Department of Energy.

The Internet giant relied on multiple factors such as "the degree of slope of a road or slowdowns due to traffic jams".

“Greener routes will begin to be offered in the United States later this year, eventually with global coverage,” says the manager.

In the same vein, Google has developed an alert system indicating to a user that he is in a low emission zone.

It will be available from June in France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom on devices with Android and iOS operating systems.

Live View makes its appearance

In the coming months and around the world, Maps will also indicate which modes of transport are the most environmentally friendly to get somewhere.

Among the other innovations presented by Google Maps, the service has developed a feature helping to guide you inside a building thanks to the Live View tool and which is already available in certain shopping centers in large American cities (Chicago, Long Island, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle).

Airports should follow.

The application will also offer a "layer" to predict its outputs according to the weather and air quality, which will be launched initially in the United States, India and Australia.


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