17th Mar, 2016 / Sofiann McKerrellSofiann McKerrell

Image of a taxi with the text Google Maps and its corresponding app logo

Google recently announced that it will add a new tab to its mobile apps that will list popular ride-sharing services.

Unlike the Uber integration to Google Maps that only shows at the end of various choices when available, the latest update will show ride-sharing services with existing options – public transportation, driving directions, biking and walking. The feature will attempt to pull whatever riding options are available within your area.

In Sao Paulo, for example, the dedicated tab will show 99Taxis and Uber, complete with distance of travel and the price for each option. The update will soon show the nearest vehicle available.

According to Google, users will be able to see ride-sharing information as it is provided now through the Uber integration, which is under the transit and walking directions, but with the addition of various services.

Image showing a ride-sharing comparison

Image source

Uber will now include uberX, uberBlack and uBerXL where these options exist, and then allow for quick comparison. When updating the mobile app, users will see fare estimates and pick-up times. Simply tap on the service you have chosen and Google Maps will open Uber to hail your ride.

Ride-sharing services that will be added in five countries are Ola Cabs in India, 99Taxis in Brazil, Gett in the UK, mytaxi in Spain and Germany, and Hailo in Spain and the UK.

Users would have to install one of the supported ride-sharing apps listed above, so it will show on the list and Google Maps can open it when tapped.

The search giant said it will roll out the dedicated ride-sharing tab to Android over the next few days, and “very soon” to iOS.

Google tied up with ride-sharing services due to their growing popularity, and their ability to make Google Maps even more relevant than it is now. They have become a big deal now, and more people are seeing the advantages they offer. If users become accustomed to using Google Maps instead of individual ride-sharing mobile apps, this could also pave the way for a wider acceptance of Waze Rider, previously known as RideWith, a ride-sharing service that Google-owned Waze is currently testing.

Earlier update of Google Maps has made it easier for motorists who prefer to drive, rather than share a ride, to take a detour or make a pit stop. The added feature gives iPhone users the ability to use the navigation mode to search for restaurants, petrol stations and other points of interest.

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