Google Maps has announced it will be adding carbon emission minimization in its calculations for optimal driving directions. If there are two similar routes a driver could take, Google will now be able to take into account road inclines, traffic jams, and other factors in order to choose the least wasteful option. If the greener choice would significantly prolong the trip length, however, Google will let you know so that you can make the choice for yourself.
Another upgrade Google Maps will be giving us is an improvement to its "Live View" alternate reality feature. Introduced in 2019, Live View superimposes virtual arrows onto the real world through your phone screen while you are walking, pointing you in the right direction. As of the new update, Google Live View will be available indoors in Westfield shopping centers across the U.S, including San Francisco, Chicago, and Los Angeles. The company has promised to bring Live View to Zurich and Tokyo airports eventually as well.
Alongside these updates, Google is also trying out grocery pick-up options in a partnership with Fred Meyer (a division of the Kroger grocer) to encourage social distancing and safety amidst the COVID pandemic. This feature is currently being tested in Portland, Oregon, and Google will be sure to let us know will let us know if it goes nationwide.