Floods and traffic jams: Google’s AI to the rescue

Estimated read time 2 min read

  Floods and traffic jams: Google's AI to the rescue

Google has announced a number of new initiatives – two in the field of bad weather and two in the field of traffic – all in the name of sustainability and safety.

While most of these programs are aimed at local authorities and humanitarian organizations, they can also be used by individuals.

Violent weather

Since 2018, Google has been using an AI-powered flood forecasting tool to predict local floods. The tool processes publicly available data and sends warnings to local governments and aid organizations up to seven days before a flood event occurs.

The Flood Hub currently covers more than 80 countries around the world – including France – and provides forecasts to nearly 2,000 sites.

At a time when forest fires are becoming more frequent and widespread, Google is doing something similar in this area. Thanks to satellite imagery and artificial intelligence, the company can predict in almost real time (within 15 minutes) how quickly and where a forest fire will spread. According to Google, a partnership with the US Forest Service (in the United States) constitutes the most important update of its fire propagation model in 50 years.

Traffic jams and automotive carbon emissions

If you’re tired of sitting in your car waiting for the light to turn green, Google may have something for you. With the Greenlight Project, Google is using AI to help city engineers optimize traffic lights so that traffic at intersections is as fast as possible, reducing emissions at these locations.

As of today, the Greenlight project is available in 12 cities around the world – Abu Dhabi, Bali, Bangalore, Budapest, Haifa, Hamburg, Hyderabad, Jakarta, Kolkata, Manchester, Rio de Janeiro and Seattle – and more are coming. According to Google, the goal is to reduce traffic stops by 30% and carbon emissions by 10%.

Google is also making available to a greater number of Google Maps users routes to reduce fuel consumption. Thanks to this route, you can not only search for roads with charging stations, but also access a more personalized route that takes into account slopes, traffic and speed limit. Since the launch of this program, Google claims that almost 2.5 million tons of CO2e emissions have been saved, or about one year of driving for 500,000 fuel-powered cars.

Source: “ZDNet.com “

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