Google has been chastised for the release of their latest Maps update, with users complaining that driving times have increased by 45 minutes.
The “eco-friendly routes” function by displaying “fuel or energy-efficiency estimates on some routes based on the engine type of your vehicle.” According to Google, “the more fuel or energy-efficient the route, the lower your car’s fuel/energy consumption and CO2 emissions.”
When enabled, Google Maps will use fuel or energy efficiency, as well as traffic and road conditions, to find the best route for the driver.
According to Google, the most fuel-efficient routes have fewer hills, less traffic, and more consistent speeds throughout the journey.
Motorists can still take the fastest route, but when they enter their destination, they will also be shown the most fuel-efficient route.
“Since its launch in the United States and Canada, it is estimated to have helped remove more than 500,000 metric tonnes of carbon emissions — equivalent to taking 100,000 gasoline-powered cars off the road. We also just launched the feature in Germany.”
Along with the features, the company has spent time updating the cycling routes on the app to encourage people to switch from four wheels to two wheels.
Twitter user Luke Rudkowski shared his outrage at the new feature, saying: “Google maps is now automatically without your consent choosing the most fuel-efficient route for you instead of the fastest route which wastes more of your time, FYI. You have to manually opt out of it.”
Twitter user William Wolfe added: “Dear Google maps: I will never want to add 45 minutes to my trip for the sake of being more fuel efficient.”
Scientists warned last week that global carbon emissions will remain at record highs in 2022, with no sign of the reductions required to avert dangerous climate change.
If current levels of emissions continue, there is a 50% chance that global temperature rises will reach 1.5 degrees Celsius – a threshold beyond which the worst effects of climate change are expected – in nine years, they said.