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Google Search and Maps introduce upgrades for greener travel

Explore Google's latest updates to Maps and Search, designed to help you make more sustainable travel choices.

In a recent announcement, Google unveiled significant updates to its Maps and Search services, aiming to facilitate more environmentally friendly travel choices. James Byers, the Group Product Manager at Google Search, shared the company's vision: “We're committed to helping you make sustainable travel decisions by providing the right information when you plan your journeys.”

Google Maps is set to enhance its route suggestion capabilities by offering alternatives to driving if public transit or walking options have comparable travel times. This feature will soon be available in over 15 major cities globally, including European capitals such as Amsterdam and Rome and as far afield as Sydney.

Expanding access to train and bus travel information

Google's updates extend beyond simple route suggestions. The tech giant is improving its search function to facilitate finding long-distance train and bus routes. For example, a search query like “Boston to Philadelphia train” will now yield comprehensive results including schedules, pricing, and direct booking links. This upgrade will initially cover train routes in 38 countries and bus routes in 15 countries.

Additionally, Google's dedicated Flight tool will now offer train route suggestions alongside flights for applicable journeys, making it easier to choose the more sustainable travel option right from the start.

Promoting awareness of flight emissions

For trips where flying is unavoidable, Google aims to increase awareness of the environmental impact through its updated platforms. By leveraging the Travel Impact Model (TIM), introduced in 2022, Google now provides estimates of per-passenger flight emissions. This model is now accessible via a developer API, a Google Sheets add-on, and an online calculator, broadening the reach of this crucial environmental data.

Acknowledging the challenges that lie ahead in the pursuit of sustainable travel, Byers expressed optimism that these new features will empower more people to choose lower-carbon alternatives. With consumers increasingly driven to make environmentally conscious decisions, Google's integration of these new into its core travel tools represents a significant step towards promoting greener travel options.

By integrating cutting-edge technology with a commitment to , Google continues to influence global travel habits positively, guiding users towards more environmentally friendly choices without sacrificing convenience.

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Emma Job
Emma Job
Emma is a freelance news editor at Tech Edition. With a decade's experience in content writing, she revels in both crafting and immersing herself in narratives. From tracking down viral trends to delving into the most recent news stories, her goal is to deliver insightful and timely content to her readers.

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