Zum Themendienst-Bericht von Fabian Hoberg vom 31. März 2020: Apple Carplay und Android Auto sollten in einem Gerät auf jeden Fall integriert sein. Denn dann lassen sich über das Radio viele Smartphone-Funktionen nutzen.

Many drivers use the Google Maps app to navigate to their desired destination.

The principle is very simple: you get in the car, select the desired destination in the app and turn the speaker to the desired volume. And the friendly voice is already navigating the driver through the traffic and even suggesting faster routes in between, if they can be found.

E-mobility, transport policy and future mobility: the briefing on transport and smart mobility. For decision makers

In line with the currently high fuel prices and the holiday season, when many day trips and short trips are made by car, Google is now publishing the route option “environmentally friendly route planning” for the navigation app.

On its blog page, the search engine service promises to show “the most fuel-efficient route in addition to the fastest route” if it is not already the fastest.

If the fastest route is not the most fuel-efficient one, the environmentally friendly alternative route is displayed in the app with a leaf icon and the estimated time of arrival.

According to Google, the new route option should “include other factors such as road gradient and traffic congestion in addition to the route length” and thus help “optimize potential fuel consumption”.

Under the item “Engine type” you can choose between the options “Gasoline”, “Diesel”, “Electric” or “Hybrid” and adapt the fuel or energy consumption to your own car.

If you want to activate or deactivate the environmentally friendly route planning in the Google Maps app in general, you can make the adjustment via your own Google profile. To do this, select your profile picture (or your initials) in the Google Maps app and follow the points “Settings” and “Navigation settings”. Under the route options you can then activate or deactivate the eco-friendly routes.

When calculating the most efficient route, Google relies on information from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the United States Department of Energy.

Jeff Gonder, who is responsible for research in the areas of mobility, behavior and modern drives at NREL, considers the cooperation with Google to be “an exciting partnership”, as the NREL website puts it. Thanks to the cooperation, the authority will be able to “take the internally developed competencies from the laboratory to the street in order to put them into practice on a large scale”.

With so-called “eco-routing”, the route with the lowest CO2 emissions and the lowest fuel consumption is to be determined.

For this purpose, factors such as the average fuel consumption of the respective engine type, the elevation profile of the route, the different road types and common traffic patterns (e.g. “stop-and-go”) are included in the calculations.

The laboratory bases its calculations on a self-developed method called “RouteE” (route energy prediction model). According to the developer, the software should be able to determine an accurate energy consumption forecast for each road section for the different vehicle types.

Random validations as part of the “RouteE” study predict that with the help of this so-called “green routing” methodology, “exactly the route that has the lowest fuel consumption is selected” in about 90 percent of all cases.

The function is not yet available on all devices. According to Google, however, it will be introduced in Germany with immediate effect and should be available to all Google Maps users for both iOS and Android in the coming weeks.