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October 11, 2023
Google shares progress on its sustainability tools

Google showcased several new projects aimed to help combat climate change globally by impacting several key industries.

According to an Oct. 10 announcement, Google showcased several new projects and expansions demonstrating how technology can empower systemic change to combat climate change globally during its Sustainable with Google event on October 10.

In the transportation sector, a significant contributor to emissions, Google announced expanding its Project Green Light traffic optimization initiative. The project uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze traffic patterns and optimize traffic light timing to reduce stop-and-go driving. By creating “green waves” where cars can drive through multiple coordinated intersections without stopping, Green Light aims to cut emissions from acceleration and braking.

Early data from Green Light’s 70 optimized intersections in 12 global cities shows the potential to reduce stops by 30% and lower carbon emissions at intersections by 10%. With 30 million potential car trips impacted per month, scaled adoption could significantly reduce urban transportation emissions. Google plans Green Light expansions to more cities worldwide this year.

Other Google Maps features introduced in recent months promote sustainable transportation options

Fuel-efficient routing now covers India and Indonesia, helping citizens reduce gas usage. In France, Google Maps will soon display walking and transit routes alongside driving to highlight greener choices. Google’s goal is to influence over 1 billion people worldwide to choose more sustainable travel through its products.

Google also highlighted projects focused on transitioning global energy usage to renewable sources. Updates to Google Search will provide more information on home renewable heating and cooling to educate consumers.

Google is also improving access to AI-powered grid planning tools for utilities, like Project Tapestry in Chile. Using robust modeling of factors like weather disruptions, these tools can aid the complex process of transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy generation.

Finally, Google discussed leveraging its AI capabilities to help communities adapt to intensifying climate change impacts. Flood forecasting on Google’s Flood Hub platform now covers the U.S. and Canada, providing advanced warning to over 12 million residents.

A new wildfire spread prediction model developed with the U.S. Forest Service will provide one of the first AI-powered upgrades to wildfire simulation in 50 years. Google is also expanding its urban tree canopy and cool roof mapping to thousands of cities to support heat mitigation planning.

According to Google parent company Alphabet’s CEO Sundar Pichai, the company aims to continue developing insights and tools to help individuals, cities, and organizations to make progress toward a carbon-free future. With climate change an urgent “moonshot” challenge, expanding access to climate-focused technologies will be key to enabling the requirement of global-scale emission reductions.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Ann H.; Pexels; Thank you!

The post Google shares progress on its sustainability tools appeared first on ReadWrite.

 

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