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Google says it used AI to reduce traffic delays, fuel usage in Israel; Testing plans in Rio de Janeiro

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Alphabet’s Google cut fuel use and traffic by 10 percent to 20 percent at four locations in Israel by using artificial intelligence to optimize signal lights and testing software in Rio de Janeiro, the company said on Wednesday. planned.

Early stage research project is one of the new software initiatives in [Google] To combat climate change. Some employees as well as advocacy groups have called on the world’s third most valuable company to use its influence more urgently to tackle the crisis.

While Google hasn’t addressed critics’ calls to stop selling technology to oil companies or funding lawmakers who deny global warming, it has prioritized sustainability features.

Google plans to allow its Nest thermostat users in the coming weeks to purchase renewable energy credits for $10 (about Rs 750) per month to offset emissions from heating and cooling. Credit will come from projects in Texas including Bethel Wind Farm and Roseland Solar. Most of the money will go toward credit purchases and utility-bill payment costs, Google said, without elaborating on the remainder.

Nest users across the United States may soon be able to automatically move heating and cooling to a time when energy is cleaner.

Alongside the search results, new informational panels show emissions or other environmental ratings of flights globally and cars and home appliances in the United States. To prevent misinformation, English, Spanish and French questions that refer to “climate change” will include UN clarifications starting this month.

Based on early results in Haifa and Beer-Sheva, Israel, the municipal traffic authority of Rio de Janeiro expressed high hopes for AI to better timing traffic signal changes. It told Reuters the system should be introduced within months, with locations to be announced soon.

Alexander Stevanovic, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, said the simulations show that AI can smooth traffic flows. But he questioned whether a tech company without traffic engineering expertise could eventually bring this kind of software to reality.

“Every year someone makes a new claim that we can do miracles,” he said.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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