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Google Maps will no longer always recommend the fastest route: the default route will be the least polluting

The novelty announced today by Google Maps may change the way millions of people move. The company explains that will stop showing the fastest route by default and instead Google Maps will recommend the ecological route or the least polluting route. A new type of route introduced in March that is calculated based on factors such as fuel consumption, traffic congestion or the incline of the road.

With this change, from Google they hope to help reduce the consumption of drivers. New ecological routes that are already available in the United States and will be rolled out in Europe from 2022, without specifying if it will be during the first half of the year or later.

The fastest route will continue to be displayed and can be kept by default

The arrival of these ecological routes represents a change in the priorities of the Google Maps algorithm. To date, the recommended route (which is usually shown in blue) was the fastest and from the settings we could choose alternative routes based on various parameters, such as not paying tolls.

From now on in the US and next year in Europe, Google Maps will update and prioritize these eco-routes ahead of the faster route, unless the time difference is very high.

Google Maps Eco RutaGoogle Maps Eco Ruta

The default route (in blue) will not be the fastest, but the most efficient and least polluting according to Google and NREL calculations.

The calculation of these less polluting routes will be carried out using Google’s own algorithms and in sync with the NREL (US National Renewable Energy Laboratory). The company has not yet specified with which body it will collaborate for its implementation in Europe.

What factors will you take into account for this ecological route? The shortest time will continue to be a factor to take into account, but not because of arriving earlier but because it will usually be the one that generates the least consumption. These ecological routes will be those that Google calculates will consume the least, where many times it will continue to coincide with the fastest.

As an example they give us a route where it takes 13 minutes and another where it takes 14 minutes, but the speed is constant, there are fewer traffic lights and the road is flatter. In that case, Google Maps will bet on recommending the route that will technically take longer, but will have a lesser impact on consumption by allowing the car to be in a more stable state and without acceleration.

In addition to this ecological route, Google Maps will also continue to show the fastest route with its respective times. A route where From the settings we can establish that the fastest route always remains the one recommended by default.

Plans to reduce the environmental impact of Apple, Google, Microsoft and large technology companies

With this measure, Google explains that more than a million tons of carbon emissions can be avoided each year, equivalent to removing more than 200,000 cars. An initiative to improve the sustainability of an application as popular as Google Maps and a plan for us to drive on those routes that may not always be the fastest, but promise to reduce our consumption.

More information | Google