A decree will oblige GPS applications to make users aware of their carbon impact while driving. In addition, they will have to indicate the low emission zones (ZFE) and propose alternative routes to consume less fuel… or to disturb the residents of usually calm zones less.
Large GPS applications will have to integrate new functionalities, and rather quickly. By the end of the year, Waze, Google Maps or even Maps will have to try to inform users of their “carbon” impact when they travel in a motorized vehicle. For motorists, this means that each time you program a route on your favorite application, you will have new information and advice to reduce your carbon dioxide emissions, which will also be indicated to you according to a calculation which will be ” made public” shortly. It will take into account everything: from fuel extraction/refining to the use of your vehicle. For the rest, here is how it will materialize in practice.
Many changes for applications
The decree signed and put forward by the Minister of Transport, Elisabeth Borne but also Agnes Pannier-Runacher and Christophe Bechu, provides for big changes for Waze and Google Maps. Here is the list, which is rather long:
- Make easily accessible to their users an awareness message concerning the alternatives to the use of the individual vehicle;
- By 1 December 2022 at the latest, integrate all data on scheduled transport services
- By December 1, 2023 at the latest, integrate all data on vehicle-sharing services, cycles, light mopeds, personal mobility devices, or on foot travel, made available at the point of aforementioned national access;
Concretely, the applications will have to indicate to the user the less “carbon-intensive” alternatives to make his journey. Whether in a private vehicle, or with shared means of transport (Waze already offers it with “Wazecarpool), or even by bicycle. The “digital travel assistance services are required to indicate to their users include at least the information integrated into the database relating to low mobility emission zones”. In other words, you will be warned if, on your route, you are going to cross an EPZ. Practical, especially in this national mess where the metropolises all have different schedules.
Finally, one line does not go unnoticed: “digital travel assistance services ensure that this information is continuously taken into account in the itinerary proposal sent to the user. In particular, in traffic conditions exempt from road events on non-secondary roads, digital travel assistance services strive to offer the user a route avoiding the massive use of secondary roads not intended for heavy trafficin particular by ensuring that the remaining travel time is reduced by at least 10% compared to the route maximizing the use of non-secondary roads”.
In fact, this is to prevent applications from sending users a little too easily to secondary roads and areas where traffic is usually light. Due to Waze, in particular, many quiet areas have seen a surge in traffic, with motorists guided by Waze on these secondary routes.