The “Sustainable With Google” event on October 6 addressed many important issues related to climate change. The company has already committed to having its data centers and campuses carbon-free by 2030. Google now wants its customers to make smarter decisions to drive sustainable energy options.
The company is doing this with a handful of new updates to its web apps and services. Most of the new additions are travel-related. Users will start to see information about carbon emissions on Google Flights. This means that users will have information on carbon emissions per seat on each flight while also finding alternative travel options with a lower carbon footprint.
Likewise, researching hotels will provide insight into the establishment’s sustainability plans, including factors such as water conservation and waste reduction. Google will also notify users if the hotels they book are EarthCheck or Green Key certified.
As for Google Maps, the company is partnering with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to show users the most fuel-efficient routes for a given trip. Commuters will also find comparisons between the fastest and most fuel-efficient routes. Google noted (Going through), this feature is already available in the United States, while the European markets will get it in 2022.
Google Maps will bring a new Lite navigation mode for cycling
Sticking to Maps, the company is also introducing a rider-focused feature known as Lite Navigation. Here, cyclists will get relevant information like ETA, altitude on their route, trip progress, etc.
Lite Navigation is designed to make important navigation data available without distracting the rider. Google also said that customers in more than 300 cities around the world can now use Maps to locate self-service scooter or bicycle services.
Google search is getting new filters to help customers choose between electric cars and gasoline vehicles. Users can also get information about potential federal or state discounts for a vehicle, allowing them to make an informed decision. These features will reflect on Google Search this year in the US, while other markets will follow next year.
The research will also help customers looking for energy efficient home appliances such as water heaters, dishwashers, ranges, ovens, dryers, and more. The company will highlight cost effective and energy efficient options. These changes are coming to the Shopping tab of Google search this week.
Additionally, the company said it will add a new search results page dedicated to climate change information. The pages will be available in English, French and Spanish with additional information from reputable sources such as the United Nations.
Google also unveiled the new Nest Renew service that allows owners of Nest thermostats to help fight climate change. You can find more details about this new service from a story we covered earlier today.
The company is also working on AI-based traffic lights
The company spoke briefly about its research into artificial intelligence to improve traffic light performance.
“We piloted this research in Israel to predict traffic conditions and improve when the traffic lights change. So far we are seeing a 10-20% reduction in fuel consumption and delay time at intersections. We are excited to expand these pilots to Rio de Janeiro and beyond, ”Google said in its release.
Finally, Google would help its business customers, including Whirlpool, Etsy, HSBC, Unilever and Salesforce, deliver new solutions to the challenges of climate change. This implies that Google recommends cleaner locations to set up its Google Cloud resources. More information will be available on Google Cloud Next ’21, the company said.