Big Brother isn’t just watching you, he’s telling you where to go… literally.
Google’s Maps app will start directing drivers along routes estimated to generate the lowest carbon emissions based on traffic, slopes and other factors, the company announced on Tuesday.
Google, an Alphabet Inc unit, said the feature would launch later this year in the U.S. and eventually reach other countries as part of its commitment to help combat climate change through its services.
You can opt-out, at least for now.
Unless users opt-out, the default route will be the “eco-friendly” one if comparable options take about the same time, Google said. When alternatives are significantly faster, Google will offer choices and let users compare estimated emissions.
Russell Dicker, a director of product at Google, said:
“What we are seeing is for around half of routes, we are able to find an option more eco-friendly with minimal or no time-cost tradeoff.”
Google said it derives emissions relative estimates by testing across different types of vehicles and road types, drawing on insights from the U.S. government’s National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). Road grade data comes from its Street View cars as well as aerial and satellite imagery.