Google Maps Is Making It Easier to Pick Sustainable Transportation Options

Google Maps Is Making It Easier to Pick Sustainable Transportation Options

Google Maps is rolling out a couple updates that should make sustainable transportation options a little more convenient to access. The first pertains to locating EV chargers, and the second may gently nudge drivers toward public transit.

AI-summarized info on EV chargers

One of the biggest problems electronic car owners face is locating convenient chargers along their route, especially when they’re on a long journey. A new Google Maps feature will show EV owners AI-generated summaries of real people’s experiences with chargers to help them gauge how reliable and busy they are.

Google says the AI summaries will be based on customer reviews, which users may be prompted to complete when they use an EV charger while using Google Maps. The app will encourage users to submit their feedback after using an EV charger so that others can see if the charger is reliable or if they should look for a better option somewhere nearby. Google has offered limited EV charger information, including directions, for quite a few years now, but this is the first time that info will be accompanied by in-depth reliability summaries.

Google may also gently suggest public transit

When public transit offers a lower carbon footprint option and a similar travel time to car travel, Google may display that public transit route as an option alongside the car route.

The tech giant says that this functionality is currently rolling out to different cities around the world, though it will start with just 15 at the moment, including Amsterdam, Barcelona, London, Montreal, Paris, Rome, and Sydney. A full list of the cities that will offer lower-carbon travel routes can be found in Google’s announcement.

Google is also making searching for public transit information much easier by providing more information, such as schedules and ticket prices, when searching for something like “train from Boston to Philadelphia.” The company says this should provide more accurate and helpful information so you can better plan your next trip.

Train information is only available in certain countries, though, including 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 the United States. Google hasn’t yet said if it plans to expand beyond those countries.

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