As part of Earth Day today (April 22) Google has added new and expanded some more features in Search and Maps to help Australians travel in a more sustainable way.

Finding a fuel efficient route

One of the new features is the ability to choose the most fuel or energy efficient route when using navigation within Maps. It uses Google’s AI to help you see the energy savings and time differences between the two routes. There is no obligation to choose the most fuel-efficient route, but Google will give you the information to choose which route you would prefer to take.

You enter your vehicle’s engine type so that the route can be optimised to save the most fuel or energy, as this may vary based on the engine type and route. You can change your preference to whichever style of route you prefer but then alter your route each time as well. The default route first chosen by Maps will be based on your set preferences though.

Driving alternatives

Google Maps will now start showing public transport or walking suggestions adjacent to the driving routes if travel times are similar and practical. Google is rolling this out in the coming weeks to over 15 cities worldwide, including Sydney and Melbourne.

As part of this if your search for a train trip, Search will not only give you the schedule but also information on ticket prices and where to make your booking. In much the same way, if you search for flights to a certain place Search will also give you information of train trips to the same place to help you find greener options.

“These new tools will surface information in Maps and Search in an accessible and visual way, helping Australians consider sustainable transport more quickly and easily – at a glance,” said Andrew Foster, Director of Google Maps, based in Sydney.

Powering up your electric vehicle

Google are also rolling out new features for Google Maps and Search to help you find specific information about the location of EV chargers to help you plan charging stops for your road trips.

Flight emissions

Google Flights will also now give you the estimated emissions for nearly every flight in the search results when you search for specific flights. You can also filter your results to the lower emitting options if you wish.

We only get one planet and if so many large companies are not doing much — if anything — to combat climate change, then even the small percentage we can help with can surely be better than nothing right? Look for more Google features to help you do your bit in making the world greener in the coming months.