Discover how Google’s innovative mapping and emissions reduction technologies are shaping a sustainable future by enhancing transportation efficiency.
Google is stepping up its game in environmental stewardship by rolling out a series of cutting-edge technologies aimed at bolstering transportation and energy efficiency, curbing urban emissions, and fortifying cities against extreme weather perils. Among the standout initiatives is "Green Light," a smart traffic light optimization platform driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI), now operational in 12 global cities.
This brainchild of Google Research meticulously analyzes driving trends and traffic flows, offering tweaks to current traffic light schedules. The early bird testing of "Green Light" shows promise—cutting down stops by a remarkable "30%" and trimming emissions at crossroads by up to "10%."
According to Environmental Energy + Leader,
Google is also revamping its search functions to cater to the burgeoning interest in electric vehicles (EVs). It's now a breeze for potential buyers to compare various EV models, a timely move as the volume of EV-related searches has skyrocketed, nearly doubling over the past two years. For those already in the EV owners' club, Google's Fuel Cost Calculator is a handy companion, assisting in juxtaposing the costs of charging EVs against fueling gas-driven vehicles.
In a collaborative stride with American Airlines, Google is digging deep into data to slash transportation-linked emissions. By dissecting contrails data—emissions stemming from air travel—the duo managed to shrink Google's contrails footprint by "54%" in a recent pilot.
Beyond transportation, Google is launching tech arsenals to brace for extreme weather events. Earlier, it had unveiled environmental mapping tools to bolster climate resilience, like pinpoint air quality information and pollen allergen forecasts. Now, it's enlarging its toolbox to tackle climate-induced extreme weather challenges such as floods, wildfires, and scorching heat.
The "Flood Hub" forecasts, courtesy of Google, are making their debut in the U.S. and Canada, arming communities with vital insights to better prep for and respond to flooding scenarios. In the same vein, AI-powered imaging and prediction instruments are fueling the Google wildfire boundary tracker, now accessible in fire-prone territories of the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Australia.
Also, on the roster is the expansion of Google's Tree Canopy tool to aid cities in orchestrating tree planting endeavors to cool down temperatures, alongside the Cool Roof tool, a savvy planner's ally in identifying prime spots for white roof or other cool roof installations to mitigate the urban heat island effect.
Google's tech novelties are not just about reacting to climate challenges but also about adapting to the clean energy transition. Its grid mapping gadgets are a boon for planning fresh renewables projects, like scouting the best locales to fit solar panels in urban settings. Moreover, the upgraded search tool, now enriched with energy efficiency data, is a treasure trove for those keen on economizing home energy costs while making a green switch.
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