Use Google Maps? Here's How to See the Fastest Possible Route

The idea behind Google Maps's new eco-friendly routing feature is a good one, but it means that the navigation app might not be sending you on the fastest route possible.

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Earlier this year, Google announced a bunch of new features that would be rolling out to Google Maps. Some of those features — like crowd information for public transit (so you can see if a certain train/bus/subway is going to be jammed or not) and the ability to see the weather and air quality of your destination before you get there — arrived months ago. But some of them, like the new eco-friendly routing, just recently rolled out. And the latter is kind of a big deal for everybody who uses Google Maps as their go-to navigation app.

The idea behind the new eco-friendly routing feature is a good one as it has sustainability in mind and it's part of Google's new initiative to fight climate change. Here's how to works:

When you type in a navigation route, Google Maps will select the route with the lowest amount of carbon emissions, so long as it doesn't affect the ETA of your journey too much. According to Google, this eco-friendly routing "has the potential to prevent over one million tons of carbon emissions per year — that’s the equivalent of removing over 200,000 cars from the road."

The problem is that eco-friendly routing is turned on by default — meaning there's a good chance that Google Maps isn't navigating you on the fastest possible route. And that's a problem for people who value speed (and time) over everything else. Fortunately, you can easily turn off eco-friendly routing. Here's how:

How to turn off eco-friendly routing in Google Maps

  1. Open the Google Maps app on your smartphone.
  2. Select your profile (image) in the top-right corner.
  3. Select Settings in the drop-down menu.
  4. Select Navigation.
  5. Scroll down and toggle off where it says "Prefer fuel-efficient routes."

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