Google is expanding Maps’ eco-friendly routing mode, rolling the feature out in dozens of European countries and making it even more powerful by letting you pick what type of fuel your car runs on.
The feature, originally launched in the US and Canada last year, will highlight routes that use less energy if they have a similar ETA to other alternate routes. Google says that starting today, it is rolling out to users in “nearly 40” European countries, including France, Ireland, Poland, Spain, and the UK. (It was introduced in Germany last month.)
Google’s also adding the ability to tell Maps if your car has a diesel, gas, hybrid, or electric powertrain, so it can find the most efficient route for your specific type of vehicle and provide more accurate estimates on how much more efficient the eco-friendly route is. The system is built on information pulled from the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and European Environment Agency, combined with Google Maps driving trends to train machine learning models based on the most popular engines in given regions.
Using an example from Google’s blog post, this could mean that people with diesel-powered vehicles will be routed along a high-speed freeway, where their engines will be most efficient, whereas someone with a hybrid or electric vehicle might get suggestions including surface streets where they can take better advantage of regenerative braking.
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