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Save Gas Money – Use Google Maps

The fastest route to a destination may not be the cheapest. A new tool helps Google Map users save money (and the planet) using those routes that minimize fuel costs.

NEW YORK – Google Maps rolled out a new eco-friendly tool that shows drivers the most fuel-efficient route when looking up directions, along with the amount of fuel savings that route provides.

If the time it takes to make the trip is close to the fastest time, Google Maps will default to the most eco-friendly route. Users can still choose between the faster or the more sustainable route.

“We believe the feature will have the same impact next year as taking over 200,000 cars off the road,” CEO Sundar Pichai says.

Google Maps calculates fuel usage based on the road inclines, traffic congestion and traffic predictions.

In addition to driving, Google also launched several eco-friendly tools aimed at helping consumers save energy costs or reduce emissions. For example:

  • When users search for information about appliances – such as furnaces, dishwashers and water heaters – results will identify the most cost-effective and sustainable options.
  • Starting early next year, searches will do the same when consumers shop for a new car by highlighting green-friendly choices.
  • For companies, Google Finance will show carbon usage data from CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, to show sustainability scores.
  • Hotel searches also will include sustainability information.

In addition, Google’s Nest smart thermostat will offer a new service that allows users to shift heating and cooling to times when the grid is cleanest or energy is least expensive.

“At the core of all of today’s updates is the concept of choice,” Sarah-Jayne Williams, a director of Google Maps, said during a virtual event announcing the changes. “By helping people understand when more sustainable routes, modes or cars are available, we’re empowering them to choose the option that works best for their lifestyle.”

Source: “Google Maps Can Now Show You the Most Fuel-Efficient Route,” Fast Company (Oct. 6, 2021) and “Google Is Updating Maps, Search, and Other Products to Help Consumers Save Energy and Reduce Emissions,” CNBC (Oct. 6, 2021)

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