Google to update Maps, Search, and other services to help users save energy and promote a green environment

Google to update Maps, Search, and other services to help users save energy and promote a green environment

Summary:

  • According to Sundar Pichai, Climate change is one of the intense risks faced today that impacts human health, economies, and the future of the planet.
  • Owing to the same, Google Maps will redirect users to the most environment-friendly route when the route to the trip seems longer than expected. By taking shorter routes, Google is aiming to curb carbon release.
  • Google will also display the carbon emissions associated with vehicles and flights in the search results.

On 6th October, Google launched a package of changes to most of the viral products to help users make sustainable choices easily, taking care of the green environment.

CEO of Google and Alphabet, Sundar Pichai was emphasizing more on climate change, saying that the adverse impacts are one of the major threats. In a prerecorded video in a virtual press event on 5th   October, the CEO said that the threat is real and could pose several dangers to human health. Starting from wildfires, flooding, storms, climate risk more threat than other kinds of risks.

Over the past years, Google has been the best corporate leader in the sustainability category. It turned carbon-neutral in 2007, which simply means that it bought offsets to match with carbon releasing energy sources since then, and has made sure to operate on carbon-free energy by the end of 2030.

In short, every question asked to Google, each mail sent, every video watched onYouTube will be delivered to users by releasing zero amount of carbon into the air, says Pichai. Adding to this he also referred to this as a moonshot – a long-term benefit bringing huge impact. The complete package of product updates helps Google to choose sustainability as an easier option.

With product updates package, Google expects to make sustainability an easier choice, Pichai said. Some of the changes made to Google are speedily being launched while some are ready to be used by users.

The Google Maps Update: Experience the routes that make you use less gas

Google Maps will be updated to offer the most eco-friendly services to users. When the route to trip, takes time to reach, Google will automatically be redirected to the route that will make users release less carbon. The product update was declared in March 2021 but will take effect in the U.S. from 6th October, and in Europe in the year 2022. Google Maps efficiently calculates fuel usage depending on the road incline, traffic predictions, traffic congestion, and others, says director of Google Maps Sarah-Jayne Williams.

To streamline the route recommendations for users, Google has joined hands with the United States Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab. Williams added that if Google Maps is showing a long time to reach by eco-friendly route, the users will then have to choose among the most sustainable route and the faster route.

Sundar also added that they believe this feature to gain huge attention in the coming year as the update is expected to take over 200000 vehicles off the road.

Moreover, Google Maps is joining hands with companies like Donkey Republic and Bird to expand scooter and bike share information to nearly 300 cities on a global scale. The cities also include Sao Paolo, New York, Berlin, and Taipei.

Having this update disclosed and launched on 6th October, users will find the nearby scooter and bike share stations and also pinpoint the number of vehicles available at that time (real-time). Williams also said that the update can also efficiently show the car and scooter parking to the users.

What are the Future Projects? What are the concepts ‘Timed Stop Lights’ and ‘Tree Canopy Mapping’?

Google also mocked few projects it is still guiding and still not available widely. For instance, Google is still on the research project to improve the efficiency of traffic lights in the entire city, said Kate Brandt, the Chief Sustainability Officer. She also added that inefficient traffic lights are not good for the environment and also for human health. This is attributed to the idle cars that unnecessarily waste fuel and contribute to street-level pollution.

The latest information states that adopting this update led to a 10 to 20% reduction in fuel usage and comparatively less impact by idle cars. This practice will further be taken in Brazil and Rio de Janeiro. Also, Google is using Aerial Imagery and Artificial Intelligence to see the location of the trees in cities and places where coverage of trees is lacking. This project has been named Tree Canopy Insights.

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