The New Google Maps Update

26 October 2021| Post by Tom3 minutes


World’s gone to shit. How are you going to help?

Great. We’ve got your attention. Pardon our French.

With COP26 approaching, Limely are spreading the word on how the digital world enables you to make more sustainable choices. Google are rolling out an eco-friendly option in 2022 to Europe where it can navigate you through routes that use the least amount of fuel. Not only is using less fuel good for the environment, but it’s cost-efficient, too.

First thing’s first:

What is COP26?

This is the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties, held for the first time on UK soil, right in Glasgow. This conference will run from 31st October-12th November. And it’s only fitting that it starts on Halloween because climate change is SCARY.

New eco-friendly routes on Google Maps

On-road vehicles are responsible for over 75% of transportation CO2 emissions. They are one of the largest contributors of greenhouse gasses, eating up the earth from the inside out. Yes, pretty grim, but we’re not here to sugar coat it, we’re here to inspire change. But we’re getting to the good part. Stay with us.

Google Maps will introduce a new, eco-friendly way of using Google Maps that will come to Europe in 2022. These eco-friendly routes are optimised for lower fuel consumption but still get you from point A to B on time. In sending you through routes that are fuel-friendly and cost-efficient, it ultimately saves you money on fuel. It does this by calculating fuel usage based on a road incline and both traffic congestion and predictions, so says Sarah-Jayne Williams, a director for Google maps.

It’s estimated that, by doing this, Google Maps will remove more than one million tonnes of carbon emissions per year, which is the equivalent to removing 200,000 cars from the road. As Jeff Gonder, Center for Integrated Mobility Sciences at NREL says, it’s ‘Something that’s good for both people and the planet’.

Google’s Mission

On their page about sustainability, Google tell us that they ‘do everything with the earth in mind’ and hope to ‘[inspire] others to follow’. They ‘want to make it easy to be more sustainable. That’s why [they] build products and technology to help people better understand their impact and actions’.

With their new Google Maps update, you’ll be able to view relative fuel savings and ETA difference between two routes and choose the one that works best for you and fits into your lifestyle. Should be live in the coming months.

Google also have a page where they can check on fuel emission estimates per flight. This encourages you make more environmentally-friendly decisions with your travel. You can check it out here.

Do-gooder Google?

Sure, Google claim to be carbon neutral since 2007. But carbon neutral doesn’t mean carbon free. How can an online company SO big have such little impact on the environment? I mean, you read our post about how damaging mass emailing can be to the environment, right? Digital waste is real.

Well since 2007, Google have emitted around 20 million tonnes of carbon. They offset their emissions, meaning they pay for others to reduce emissions or absorb CO2 to compensate for their emissions by, for example, planting trees etc.

You don’t even have to throw fists to fight climate change, you just have to lift a finger, click a button and make more climate-conscious choices. Go the fuel-friendly route. If we ask the bare minimum of everybody, it adds up.

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