Google Maps has an assortment of settings for your trip-navigation needs. You can get from Point A to Point B in a car, on a bus, by foot or on a bike. You can get there avoiding highways or toll roads. You can even get there counting in kilometers instead of miles, if you want to travel like a European.
But no mainstream navigation service has yet mastered the holy grail of environmentally friendly travel – the route of least emissions.
Researchers at a handful of universities across the country are at work on this concept, called green routing. The idea sounds pretty straight-forward: Instead of selecting the shortest route to the grocery store, you would be able to pick the path with the smallest carbon footprint. Researchers suspect that on the aggregate, if large numbers of us were adjusting our driving patterns like this every day, it would have a serious impact.
A recent study from researchers at SUNY-Buffalo found that rerouting just a fifth of drivers in a computer simulation of traffic in the Buffalo area could help to reduce emissions regionally by 20 percent.
Designing such a system, though, is much more complicated than the idea itself sounds.
Read the entire article at: Atlantic Cities
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