Google Maps will tell us eco-friendly route

Several media including BBC reported that Google Maps will tell us the most eco-friendly route based on some factors. Google said it will highlight journeys that generate the lowest carbon footprint using mainly traffic data and road inclines.

The US tech giant said the feature would launch first in the US later 2021. In addition, it will be expanding globally so that the process is on the way. Of course, this new feature is part of Google’s commitment to fight climate change. In fact, the company says it has long developed sustainable practices to benefit the environment. Furthermore, Google has committed to be carbon-free by 2030 to help cities track greenhouse gas emissions.

When alternative routes are significantly faster, Google will offer choices and let users compare estimated emissions. The search engine said it uses emissions data based on testing across different types of cars and road types. Road data factors in slopes and inclines from Street View feature along with aerial and satellite imagery, too.

Who is Alphabet?

Alphabet Inc. is an American multinational conglomerate and its head office is in Mountain View, California. It was created through a restructuring of Google on October 2015. The company became the parent company of Google and owns several former Google subsidiaries such as Waymo.

What can we learn from this initiative?

As we see the other article about Apple, big technology companies are taking bold actions to tackle climate change. This Google Map’s new feature is without exception. Thus, we can learn two things from this announcement: Sustainability and Data

Sustainability

First of all, sustainability becomes one of the most important issues for every company. A lot of people across the globe have experienced natural disasters, pandemic, inequality and others. Big technology companies including Alphabet, Facebook and Amazon earn tremendous revenue and profit. What’s more, their share price is skyrocketing. Nonetheless, does our life become better compared to their success?

Of course, we can enjoy their “FREE” services such as Google Map, YouTube, Google search engine and Facebook. However, we can see their negative sides at the same time. In fact, big tech CEOs attended the US Congress.

In this sense, this new initiative does make sense. This is because Google can show how its “FREE” service helps us fight climate change. In other words, we can rethink the service is necessary for our sustainability.

Data

Secondly, data will help companies create new features and they can help companies gather more data. The idea that is to tell us the most eco-friendly route looks very nice. However, what is necessary to realize this idea? As we see above, tons of data is indispensable. What’s more, how many companies around the world gather enough data to offer the service? Of course, few companies can do.

Thus, the new feature will be exclusive service so that it can make users enjoy the specific service more. As a result, the company will be able to gather more data, which means that oligopoly is intensified. In other words, the more data companies collect, the more opportunities to create new features they have.

In summary, on one hand, Google can show its commitment to climate change. On the other hand, oligopoly can be intensified. Therefore, it is better for users to use the service wisely.