The Google Maps application will direct drivers to more eco-friendly routes that generate the lowest carbon footprint using mainly traffic data, road slopes and inclines, and other factors.
The eco-friendly option will be the application's default route if comparable options take about the same time. When alternatives are significantly faster, Google will offer choices and let users compare estimated emissions.
"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."
– Russell Dicker, director of product at Google
The application will also include live information about the weather and air quality, which is especially helpful for people with respiratory problems or allergies, or who need to know the weather forecast for a particular location.
The app's database will be powered by partners such as The Weather Company, AirNow.gov, and the Central Pollution Control Board. Both Android and iOS are expected to get these updates in the coming months.