Google Maps launches eco-friendly routing feature in UK: Tool highlights fuel-efficient roads with fewer hills and less traffic to help drivers save money on petrol and cut emissions
- Drivers can see estimated fuel savings and time difference between routes
- The most fuel-efficient route will vary based on engine type
- The tool has helped cut 500,000 tons of carbon emissions in the U.S and Canada
Google Maps is rolling out a new ‘fuel-efficient route’ feature for UK drivers
Google Maps is rolling out a new ‘fuel-efficient route’ feature for UK drivers – and for drivers in nearly 40 countries in Europe – to help them save money on fuel and reduce carbon emissions.
Now, in addition to showing the fastest route, Google Maps will also display the one that’s most fuel-efficient, if it doesn’t also happen to be the fastest.
With just a few taps, they can see the relative estimated fuel savings and time difference between the two routes and choose the one that works best for them.
The most fuel-efficient routes are those with fewer hills, less traffic and constant speeds.
If the driver always wants the fastest route suggested they can stipulate this preference in settings.
Google Maps said that fuel-efficient routing ‘is making an impact around the world’.
Using the eco-route feature, drivers can see the relative estimated fuel savings and time difference between routes and choose the one that works best for them
The most fuel-efficient routes are those with fewer hills, less traffic and constant speeds
It revealed: ‘Since launching in the U.S and Canada, it’s already estimated to have helped remove more than half a million metric tons of carbon emissions – equivalent to taking 100,000 fuel-based cars off the road.’
It added: ‘The most fuel-efficient route will vary based on what type of engine you have. For example, diesel engines are usually more efficient at higher speeds than petrol or gas engines, while hybrid and electric vehicles perform better in stop-and-go traffic.
‘That’s why, in the coming weeks, we’ll make it possible for drivers using this feature in the UK (along with Europe, the U.S and Canada) to select their engine type — petrol or gas, diesel, hybrid or electric vehicle (EV) — in order to get the best route and most accurate fuel or energy efficiency estimates.’
The most fuel-efficient route will vary based on engine-type (left). Google said: ‘Since launching in the U.S and Canada [the eco-route feature] is already estimated to have helped remove more than half a million metric tons of carbon emissions – equivalent to taking 100,000 fuel-based cars off the road’
Google Maps revealed that the engine-type feature was made possible thanks to insights from the U.S Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and data from the European Environment Agency.
Good Maps explained: ‘By pairing this information with Google Maps driving trends, we were able to develop advanced machine learning models trained on the most popular engine types in a given region.’
Google revealed that searches for ‘how to save petrol while driving’ had surged by 140 per cent in 2022 in the UK, with searches for ‘does stop start save fuel’ up by 70 per cent in the UK in the past 90 days.
Google is also helping users achieve a more eco-friendly lifestyle with an ‘EV charging station’ search function and more helpful cycling route information that includes whether cyclists will encounter heavy car traffic, stairs or steep hills on the way.
It is also highlighting whether hotels have eco-certified badges so users can ‘sleep more sustainably’.