For a while now, we’ve been able to go to the Google Maps app and see how much it would cost to get an Uber to our destination. We could then tap a button to open the Uber app and order the car. Now Google has announced that it is expanding this feature to ride-hailing apps including 99Taxis in Brazil, Ola Cabs in India, Mytaxi in Germany and Spain, Gett in the U.K., as well as Hailo in the U.K. and Spain.
According to Google the new integration will roll out over the next few days to Android users, with an iOS rollout coming “very soon.”
To accommodate for all the new services, the Google Maps app will get a new tab dedicated to ride-hailing services. It will sit next to the existing car, walking, and public transport tabs. If you have one or more of the supported apps installed, simply tap on the service for which you want to see an estimated fare. You’ll then be able to tap a button to open up the app and hail a ride.
Google Maps will also now show different services from the same company. For example, Uber users will be able to see the rates for UberX, UberBLACK, UberXL and so on.
Google’s goal here is clear — when you need to go somewhere, it doesn’t matter how you intend to get there, Google wants you to fire up the Google Maps app first. After all, as Google mentions in its blog post, “it can take precious minutes to figure out whether it’s faster to hop on a bus, walk a few blocks, find a ride-sharing service, or hail a taxi.”
Of course, absent from any of the Google Maps-related announcements is Lyft. It would certainly be nice for U.S. users to be able to choose between Uber or Lyft through Maps. However, considering the extent of Uber’s popularity compared to Lyft this seems unlikely.