Google Maps will be able to estimate fuel consumption based on the type of vehicle used

Google Maps is about to get new features that lessen the impact of cars on the environment by helping users estimate the energy requirements of their selected route.

Google has already announced options for calculating eco-friendly routes, coming to the aid of commuters who want to get to their destination using the least amount of fuel. The problem is that simply calculating the most efficient route does not give a complete picture of the costs involved, with major differences between petrol, diesel and LPG cars, and hybrid or fully electric cars.

Green routes on Google Maps

The Green Routes option allows you to calculate the most efficient route for your car, at the expense of distance travelled and even travel time. The feature combines Google’s centralised information about road type, real-time traffic flow and distance, helping your mapped route get you to your destination using the least amount of fuel possible. Another new estimate added by Google specifically targets energy consumption and its cost, be it fossil fuels or electricity.

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So you’ll soon have a new setting to fill in the Google Maps app, choosing the specific vehicle you’re using: petrol, diesel, hybrid or electric, and you’ll then receive more accurate estimates of consumption on the selected route.

By encouraging the selection of the green route option, Google Maps will provide fuel economy and estimated time of arrival (ETA) estimates compared to selecting a more direct/fast conventional route. Depending on the situation, slower or easy detour routes (e.g. county roads instead of motorways or expressways) could be selected, with the idea that the lack of congestion and slower speed allows reaching the destination without major delays, but in an economical and less polluting way. Estimating fuel/energy consumption simply helps drivers to make the most informed decision by weighing the cost of the journey against the time needed to reach the destination.

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The option to estimate fuel/electricity consumption will appear in a future update to Google Maps.

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