Google Maps latest update adds booking, payments integration for ride services

NEW DELHI: Google Maps has announced a new update, which will bring more integrations with ride services like Uber making it easier for users to book a ride directly from the navigation app. The update will be coming to both iOS and Android globally, with the screenshots shared by Google showing an integration with Uber and Lyft.

"With today's updates, you'll now see more types of ride options and more actionable information. When you open ride services mode, instead of a long list of ride service providers and ride options, you'll see the map you know and love, along with a carousel of ride service providers in your area. Just tap on your preferred provider to see a complete list of ride options and special offers or promotions," said Senior Product Manager at Google, Sara McKinkey Torti in a blogpost.

Back in March of last year, Google had introduced a ride sharing tab into Google Maps that allowed anyone to see the potential pricing and timing for ordering an Uber or Lyft ride.

Torti in her post added that Google is also experimenting with a deep integration with Uber that will let users book, complete their ride and pay for it without leaving the Google Maps app. This function will even work if a user does not have Uber installed on their device.

According to the blog, a user can log into their Uber account while inside Google Maps.They can then book a ride, track the driver on the map, and connect with the driver on call right from within the Google Maps app - very similar to how it works with Uber's native mobile app.

It will be interesting to see how soon this feature is rolled out globally, and what it will mean for the actual Uber app in this case. In India, the taxi tab on Google Maps already shows Uber and Ola as the two options, and you can see the rates, time should you want to book a ride. However, for the actual booking you have to go to the respective app. The new update will change all of that and might even make the apps redundant.


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