Sunday, July 21, 2024

Google spotlights more sustainable ways to travel

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Google is launching new and expanded features in its Maps and Search functions to help travelers find more sustainable ways to get around — displaying walking routes alongside driving directions, offering cleaner rail alternatives to air travel and identifying the most convenient locations for electric vehicle charging stations.

Available in the coming weeks in walkable cities like Amsterdam, Barcelona, London, Paris and Rome are new features in Maps that will show public transit or walking options alongside the driving routes users request.

Google is also expanding a feature in Search that helps users find information on long-distance train routes, while adding support for buses as well. After users search for the route they want, they can see schedules and ticket prices on the results page, along with links to complete their bookings. The feature is now available for trains in 38 countries and long-distance bus routes in 15 countries.

Train route suggestions also appear when users look for flights on Search, and in the coming months they will show up when using Google Flights, making it easier for travelers to identify the more sustainable option.

To help the owners of electric vehicles access information about charging stations, Google is rolling out new features for Maps and Search that provide specific information about the location of EV chargers or help plan charging stops for road trips.

Google said artificial intelligence-powered summaries in Maps that will be rolled out over the coming months will include details down to, for example, what floor in a parking garage the chargers are on and is based on information shared in the millions of reviews posted every day to the site. Other features help identify the most convenient chargers for road trips or overnight stays.

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