Google Maps makes choosing sustainable transportation options easier

Google Maps is rolling out some updates that should make sustainable transportation options more accessible. The first has to do with locating electric vehicle chargers, and the second may provide a gentle nudge for drivers to switch to public transportation.

Electric vehicle charger information summarized by artificial intelligence

One of the biggest problems electric vehicle owners face is finding convenient chargers along the way, especially when traveling long distances. A new Google Maps feature will show electric car owners an AI-generated summary of real people’s experiences with their chargers, helping them gauge how reliable and busy charging is.

Google said the AI ​​summaries will be based on customer reviews, and users may be prompted to complete reviews when using an electric car charger while using Google Maps. The app will encourage users to submit feedback after using an electric car charger so that others can learn whether the charger is reliable or if they should look for a better option nearby. Google has provided limited EV charger information, including directions, for years, but this is the first time that information is accompanied by an in-depth reliability summary.

Google may also gently suggest public transportation

When public transportation offers a lower carbon footprint option and the travel time is similar to car travel, Google may show that public transportation route as an option next to the car route.

The tech giant said the feature is currently rolling out in different cities around the world, but it will only be available in 15 cities for now, including Amsterdam, Barcelona, ​​London, Montreal, Paris, Rome and Sydney. The full list of cities that will offer low-carbon travel routes can be found in Google's announcement.

Google is also making it easier to search for public transportation information by providing more information, such as schedules and fares, when searching for things like "train from Boston to Philadelphia." The company says this should provide more accurate and useful information so you can better plan your next trip.

However, train information is only available in certain countries, including Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan , Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States. Google has not said whether it plans to expand beyond those countries.