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As part of an array of AI-powered updates this year, Google Maps is introducing directions that get drivers to their destination with the lowest possible carbon footprint. Using insights from the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Lab, Google will start optimizing routes based on fuel consumption, taking factors like road incline and traffic congestion into account.
Drivers are shown how much lower CO2 emissions are for the most fuel-efficient route, which is marked with a green leaf icon. Better yet, if their estimated time of arrival is close to that of the fastest route, greener directions will be shown by default. Users can opt to always see the fastest route, but — thankfully, in this case — most consumers don't tinker with an app's settings. Eco-friendlier routes will roll out in the US later this year, with the rest of the world to follow.
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