Google has announced a set of new features and services that the company is confident will help its users make more informed choices about the environment. The functions will be available in Google services such as Search, Maps, Travel and Nest.
Within a month, Google will change the results for the query “climate change” on its search platform. Users will be redirected to a dedicated page with “high quality climate information”. Materials will come from the most authoritative sources, including the UN. In addition, the company is committed to providing users with more sustainable shopping options using the platform’s tools.
By “early next year,” when US users search for information on vehicles, Google will be showing results for hybrids and electric vehicles. When you search for a specific electric vehicle, the search results will show the nearest charging stations compatible with this model. Starting today, American users will see suggestions for more energy efficient home appliances: stoves, dishwashers, water heaters, and dryers.
From today on, US residents will see the most economical routes in branded Google maps. When the most economical route turns out to be the fastest, the system will offer this option as the main one. If an economical route turns out to be more time-consuming, the system will offer users options, and the person can make an informed choice. For European users, this feature will be available next year.
For cyclists, Lite Navigation will appear in Google Maps with route details on one screen. In addition, residents of 300 cities around the world will now be able to get information about the nearest e-scooter and bicycle rentals.
When searching for airline tickets, Google users will start receiving information on the amount of carbon dioxide emissions associated with each flight starting today. It will be possible to see the individual carbon footprint associated with the choice of a particular seat in the aircraft cabin. A business class passenger occupying more physical space is responsible for more pollution, as it accounts for a larger share of the entire aircraft’s emissions. Google cites research results that choosing a more efficient travel program can reduce carbon dioxide emissions on this route by 63%.
The company also announced plans to expand its research to reduce vehicle emissions through more efficient traffic control. As part of a pilot program in Israel, artificial intelligence has been entrusted with managing traffic lights, reducing waiting times at intersections and reducing fuel consumption by 10-20%. The program will be launched in other cities around the world, and the first will be Brazilian Rio de Janeiro.
Owners of Nest systems in the United States will have access to a new Nest Renew service over the coming weeks, which allows heating or air conditioning to be turned on when renewables are increasing on the grid. Renew Premium will be available in select markets, which will allow electricity consumption to be matched against renewable investments.
Google launched its own environmental projects in 2007, now the company itself compensates for the emissions of its infrastructure, without being able to completely eliminate them – this will happen only by 2030. Today, 67% of Google’s data centers are powered by clean energy sources.