Google Maps and Search updates highlight sustainable ways to travel

A view of Chicago on Google Maps running on a ThinkPhone by Motorola
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google is rolling out a couple of updates for Maps and Search that are designed to aid users in finding more sustainable ways to travel.
  • For Maps, users will find low-carbon travel alternatives alongside driving routes while Search picks up long-distance information for trains and buses.
  • Google is also bringing more awareness to emissions from flights for developers creating apps and websites.

Ahead of Earth Day next week, Google is bringing a few updates to Maps and Search that may help users make better-informed choices around more "sustainable" methods of travel.

Google Maps is set to pick up a feature that displays low-carbon alternatives when traveling. The company states users in Maps will soon find routes for walking and public transit alongside driving routes.

However, Google will only do this if "travel times are comparable and practical" so you won't be too delayed.

Google is starting to show low-carbon alternatives for those traveling using Google Maps.

(Image credit: Google)

These low-carbon alternatives will appear in "over fifteen cities" worldwide. This includes Amsterdam, Barcelona, London, Montreal, Paris, Rome, and Sydney. Google will begin rolling this feature out today (April 17) for Maps.

The second feature involves Google Search, as users can now inquire about long-distance trains and buses. For instance, the company says users can search for "Boston to Philadelphia train" and quickly discover schedules and ticket prices in a neat table below the search bar.

Google Search will now offer information on schedules and tickets for long-distance trains and buses.

(Image credit: Google)

Google Search will provide links for users who need to book their tickets when selecting a result that best suits them. Joining this update, Google states it will add train route suggestions as an alternative when searching through the Flights app for a plane to catch.

Also rolling out today, users will find schedules for trains in 38 countries, including the U.S. For buses, Google is adding support to 15 countries, also including the U.S.

Google is also looking to increase awareness regarding airplane emissions. The post states that the company is bringing its Travel Impact Model (TIM) to its developer API. This will let app creators display flight emission information on their products or websites.

Additionally, developers can pick up a Google Sheets add-on and the TIM emissions calculator to help estimate a flight's amount per person. Google states this arrives as an additional tool alongside its Flights app, which already displays such information for those who are curious.

These updates are rolling out today (Apr. 17) for users. If you're not yet seeing the features, give the app a little more time today and through the rest of the week.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.