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Google Maps is preparing to expand its fuel-efficient routing options by specifically tailoring to electric vehicles, hybrids, and more.
Last year, Google Maps began offering an alternative way to navigate your car from one place to another. Where typically a navigation app optimizes for the shortest travel time, Google Maps started offering routes that would be more fuel-efficient and eco-friendly, even defaulting to that route if the ETA is similar.
However, not all vehicles behave the same way or can optimize fuel efficiency with the same methods. While gas-powered vehicles are still all too common in the United States, there’s a growing number of hybrids and electric vehicles on the road, and quite a few diesel-powered ones as well. Suffice it to say the most efficient route for a traditional ICE car will not be the same as one for an electric.
To that end, the latest beta update to Google Maps, version 11.39, includes preparations to specify the engine type of the vehicle you’re currently driving. This selection — with options for gas, diesel, electric, and hybrid — will be used by Google Maps to “tailor” your navigation to find what will “save you the most fuel or energy.”
New! Get fuel-efficient routes tailored to your vehicle’s engine type.
Save more fuel by choosing your engine type
This info helps Maps find the route that will save you the most fuel or energy.
It doesn’t seem like you’ll be required to select a particular type of engine, even once this feature launches. Additionally, there will be an option in the app’s settings to switch to a different engine type, if needed.
Choose engine type
Change engine type
The change makes a great deal of sense for Google Maps given the company’s environmental consciousness, and it implies the success they may have had so far with automatically choosing the energy-efficient route. As the functionality is only just beginning to appear in beta testing, drivers of electric and hybrid vehicles will likely still have to wait a few more weeks to experience the tweaks Google Maps will make to their drive.
Google Maps begins rolling out estimated toll prices for planned routes
Estimated toll prices for planned routes now appear to be rolling out for Google Maps users on both Android and iOS after being announced earlier this year.
Having already been announced earlier this year, it has taken a little longer than expected for toll prices to arrive in Google Maps. First reported by Android Police, the feature rollout has since been confirmed by the official Google Maps help page post (and Twitter) with 2,000 toll roads in the US, India, Indonesia, and Japan being accounted for.
Google previously stated that more countries will see the feature “soon” but did not specify just what regions will be first in line once the expansion starts. Toll price estimates is a feature that has existed in Waze for some time, but given the ubiquity of Google Maps, this is a solid option for those in regions where toll roads are a common occurrence. This is in tandem with the existing feature that allows you to avoid toll roads entirely when route planning.
For the planner friend: this new feature is for you. 🙏
Now when you’re planning trips big and small, you can check estimated toll prices before you pick a route—and spend what you save on road snacks. pic.twitter.com/Lfy8s2TXQU
— Google Maps (@googlemaps) June 13, 2022
You’ll see the estimated toll price to your destination before you start navigating thanks to trusted information from local tolling authorities. We look at factors like having a toll pass or not, what the day of the week it is, along with how much the toll is expected to cost at the specific time you’ll be crossing it.
The pricing data is directly sourced from local tolling authorities. Maps then factors in the outright cost of using a toll pass, specific payment method charges, daily toll rates, along with how much the toll is expected to cost at the specific arrival time to give you an estimate when mapping out a potential route.
You will have the option within settings to show toll prices with or without having a toll pass–as in many geographies the price changes based on the payment method you use. You will also still have the option to avoid routes crossing toll roads entirely, if possible, by selecting ‘Avoid tolls’ within settings.
While this is a great move, it’s worth noting that Google Maps is not yet capable of showing individual toll road prices. Instead, you’ll only get a “full” estimate for a complete route. There are also no options to select things such as vehicle type nor add-in discount passes if they exist for certain transit methods. Either way, this is a great step in the right direction, and it would be great to see Google develop it further with more fine controls and pricing data.