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Google Maps Is Providing Users Across 40 European Countries With More Environmentally Friendly Driving Routes

Google Maps is rolling out new eco-friendly routes for individuals wishing to take more fuel-efficient trips across Europe.

These new map updates and routes have been issued across 40 separate European countries, and are part of a new environmentally friendly push that Google’s planning with Maps; we might even see such routes pop up elsewhere. Currently, they’re limited to these 40 countries, as well as the USA and Canada. Our starting points were the latter two and Germany. The point of these new routes is to get users from A to B while spending as little fuel as possible. Naturally, the question pops up, “isn’t Google Maps already providing us with the most fuel-efficient pathways out there?”. The answer to that is a mix of both yes and no. Maps provide its user base with the fastest routes from A to B; these are not always, however, the most fuel-efficient or environmentally friendly. These concepts require more than speedily arriving at one’s destination, although that is an important factor.

To be clearer in my explanation, allow me to elaborate. The new Maps feature will not only take trip length into account, but it will also factor in other obstacles such as traffic lights, off-roading, terrain, and so forth. With all this in mind, a middle ground will be established between the quickest possible route, and one with the least number of stops, providing travelers with the most consistent speed. Fewer breaks and stops mean fewer exhaust fumes filling the air, and less fuel is wasted.

Google Maps will also show users just how much more fuel efficient the suggested route is, providing numbers on the amount of petrol being saved for the extra number of minutes expended while driving. With gas prices being driven up a wall nowadays, I honestly think that this feature is incredibly useful. If only we’d get this feature everywhere other than Europe and North America (which is also something that Google is working towards). Google estimates that the introduction of this feature in the US, Canada, and Germany helped remove more than half a million metric tons of carbon emissions. That sounds like a lot but remember: no truly effective change can take place until and unless our governments start holding corporations producing such waste accountable in the first place. Although, if Google’s provided numbers are anywhere in the ballpark of being true, this is an incredibly useful feature indeed.
Read next: This Latest EU Legislation Might Make Android Phones Last Longer

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