Google is betting big on green alternatives to driving, and the latest update announced for Google Maps is just living proof of that.
The app already provided users with bike and scooter sharing information directly to Android and iPhone, but Google says those capabilities are now being extended to millions more users.
No less than 300 cities are now supported by this feature, with Google explaining that users in Berlin, New York, Sao Paulo and Taipei can now see not only nearby stations, but also the number of vehicles available at each location.
Information on bike and scooter sharing is provided by Google partners including Donkey Republic, Tier and Voi in Europe, as well as Bird and Spin.
In the meantime, this isn’t the only green investment Google has announced for Google Maps.
The navigation app also gets a new feature specifically aimed at drivers, as users will now be offered the most fuel-efficient route when looking for advice to a specific destination.
While until now Google Maps only provided the fastest route to a defined address, the app is now able to display the alternative with a lower carbon footprint as well, all based on an in-depth analysis that takes take into account data such as the incline of the road, traffic, average speed and other information.
A complex algorithm tries to determine the carbon footprint of each route, and Google says sometimes users might end up with a longer alternative (so it might take a few more minutes to reach the destination) but with increased fuel efficiency.
The feature is available on iPhone and Android in the US, and of course, it will soon be extended to more users in other regions as well.