People are using Google Maps to cut down tailpipe pollution

Drivers are taking Google Maps’ advice for how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their trips, according to the company.

In late 2021, Google debuted a feature in Google Maps that allows users to see the most fuel-efficient routes. The feature has since helped prevent around 1.2 million metric tons of planet-heating carbon dioxide emissions, Google estimates in its latest environmental report released today. That’s almost like taking 250,000 gas-guzzling cars off the road for a year, the company says.

The tool launched in the US, but now it’s also available in Canada, Egypt, and nearly 40 more countries in Europe. Google uses a machine learning model to predict which route is the most fuel- or energy-efficient and recommends it to Maps users. If the most fuel-efficient route is also the fastest, Google Maps will default to that option.