New Google Maps feature is here to lower your fuel bills

App now suggests route that is the most fuel efficient for your car

Google Maps eco-friendly routing
(Image credit: Google)

In a bid to save on users’ fuel bills, Google Maps now suggests routes based on how efficient they are, and depending on the type of vehicle you drive.

Rolling out now to users in 40 European countries, eco-friendly routing shows a more fuel-efficient route option alongside the usual choices. So, while the most efficient route might not be the quickest, users can choose it based on Google Maps’ calculation for how much fuel will be used, and saved.

As well as the route, Google Maps shows the relative fuel savings and time difference between the fastest and most efficient routes. That said, the app can also be configured to always prioritise the fastest route and not suggest a more fuel-efficient option.

This may all sound familiar, as Google has already rolled out the feature in the US and Canada. After doing so, the company estimates that eco-friendly routes have “helped remove more than half a million metric tons of carbon emissions – equivalent to taking 100,000 fuel-based cars off the road.”

On top of all this, Google Maps is also gaining the option to pick a route based on the type of engine your car has. Coming in the next few weeks, Google says, the feature will let Maps users tell the app whether their car is petrol, diesel, hybrid or electric. This option will shortly be added to Maps in Europe, the US and Canada.

The theory behind this is that diesel vehicles are more efficient at higher speeds, and electric cars are better in stop-start traffic than those with an internal combustion engine.

Google explains: “This technology is made possible thanks to insights from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and data from the European Environment Agency. By pairing this information with Google Maps driving trends, we were able to develop advanced machine learning models trained on the most popular engine types in a given region.”

Alistair Charlton

Alistair is a freelance automotive and technology journalist. He has bylines on esteemed sites such as the BBC, Forbes, TechRadar, and of best of all, T3, where he covers topics ranging from classic cars and men's lifestyle, to smart home technology, phones, electric cars, autonomy, Swiss watches, and much more besides. He is an experienced journalist, writing news, features, interviews and product reviews. If that didn't make him busy enough, he is also the co-host of the AutoChat podcast.