Google Unveils Sustainable Transport Solutions
July 14, 2024
Sustainability Transport

Google Unveils Sustainable Transport Solutions In Maps And Search

Provides Alternatives To Driving And Flying

Google has rolled out significant updates to features in Maps and Search have been rolled out.

These updates are designed to encourage sustainable modes of transportation and make it easier for users to explore alternatives to driving and flying, showing Google’s commitment to users’ travel needs and the environment.

The latest updates aim to equip users with the necessary information to make environmentally conscious travel choices.

One prominent addition is the integration of public transit and walking suggestions alongside driving routes on Maps.

This feature, set to launch in the coming weeks, will initially cover over 15 significant cities worldwide, including Amsterdam, Barcelona, London, Montreal, Paris, Rome, and Sydney.

It will also be available in Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, Cologne, Dublin, Hamburg, Madrid, Melbourne, Milan, Munich, and Zurich.

Enhanced Search

Moreover, Search functionalities have been enhanced to provide comprehensive information on long-distance train routes and now include support for buses as well.

Users searching for train routes between cities can access schedules and ticket prices directly on the results page. This feature is available for trains in 38 countries: Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and United States.

The updates provide users with information to make environmentally conscious travel choices. Credit: Google

Search now provides new bus information for long-distance bus routes in 15 countries: Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Environmental Impact

Recognising that flying remains unavoidable for some journeys, efforts have been made to highlight the environmental impact of air travel.

Train route suggestions are now integrated into flight searches on Search, with plans to extend this feature to Google Flights shortly.

Additionally, users can assess the carbon footprint of their flights through estimated emissions displayed on Google Flights, with options to filter for lower-emission choices.

The emission estimates provided are powered by the Travel Impact Model (TIM), a methodology introduced by Google in 2022.

To enhance accessibility, TIM estimates are now accessible through a developer API, a Google Sheets add-on, and a calculator on the TIM website, enabling any app or website to display flight emissions data.

While acknowledging that sustainable travel is an ongoing journey, these updates represent a significant step towards empowering users to make informed travel choices.

Expanding sustainable transportation options in Maps and Search reflects Google’s commitment to promoting environmentally friendly travel practices.

Featured image: The Maps and Search updates include significant locations in the United States, such as Boston City in Massachusetts. Credit: Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto is an award-winning journalist with wide-ranging Middle East and Asia experience in the tech, aerospace, defence, luxury watchmaking, business, automotive, and fashion verticals. He is passionate about conserving endangered native wildlife globally. Arnold enjoys 4x4 off-roading, camping and exploring global destinations off the beaten track.
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