Google Maps is improving its application, and one of the new looks is an environmentally friendly route option. No, it doesn’t just mean riding a bicycle or electric pedaling somewhere. Taking into account road conditions and terrain, as well as traffic and congestion, Google Maps will provide an ecological route with lower carbon emissions.
Sometimes, the most fuel-efficient method is the fastest or comparable, so Google Maps will default to this option. However, if the environmental protection approach is a little slower, you will be able to see how much pollution you will be exposed to if you need to reduce the distance by a few minutes.
Google Maps collaborated with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to help with calculations through a new map model. It takes into account factors such as steep hills or heavy traffic and estimates the carbon emissions of typical vehicles on different routes in the region. The ecological route will be released on iOS and Android phones in the United States later this year.
As part of the “spring cleaning”, the Google Maps application will also look different. Users don’t have to switch between tabs when searching for routes but can view all the different modes (walking, biking, driving, public transportation, ride-sharing, etc.) on one page.
You can also star your favorite modes so that, for example, bicycle or walking routes will appear first. After all, not everyone wants or needs driving directions as the default mode.
There are some other new appearances on the app: weather and air quality layers. This information will be displayed directly on the app, without the need to look up predictions for the destination. In the next few months, the AQI (Air Quality Index) list will be listed first in the United States, Australia, and India.
In this pandemic world, Google has seen an increase in the number of searches and retrievals of food in Google Maps. Searches for “curbside pickup” increased by 9,000% compared to March 2020. Therefore, Google is simplifying grocery orders for Instacart and Albertsons chains directly into the Maps app. You can choose a pick-up or delivery window, and then start shopping.
In Portland, Oregon, it will be piloted at the Fred Meyer store this summer to make roadside pickups smoother. Users can use the “Maps” app to notify the store of the upcoming arrival and the pickup parking space they are waiting for.
In anticipation of the eventual resumption of more public indoor activities, Google will launch Live View internally (an outdoor version will be available from 2019) for more users in airports, transit stations, and shopping malls.
This mode has been launched in some shopping malls in the United States and uses augmented reality technology to display arrows and other visual guides in layers on the real-time camera view. It will be helpful when you need to go to the food court on the third floor below.