There’s no longer a need to switch between Google Maps and Uber when planning a trip. Google is adding a new Uber integration that makes it possible to get a fare estimate, book a ride, and pay without leaving the app, the company announced on its site Thursday.
Even if the Uber app isn’t installed, users will be able to access the ride sharing service by logging in or creating an account from within Google Maps, the announcement read. After the ride is booked, users can track their driver’s location on the map or contact him or her from within the app as well.
Those who frequent Google Maps will notice another change in the app’s ride services tab as well, which has been redesigned to include a map view with various ride-booking options displayed underneath. Users will be able to cycle through different services like Uber and Lyft by tapping different tabs below the map. Previously, Google Maps just displayed a list of supported taxi hailing apps.
The integration comes as Internet giants like Facebook are also competing to keep users engaged in their own services rather than switching between multiple apps. Facebook announced Uber would be integrated into Messenger in December 2015, and now the platform hosts thousands of chat bots for connecting to external services.
Google and Uber, meanwhile, are both aggressively pursuing the development and deployment of self-driving cars, and reports indicate it could one day launch its own taxi service. But Bill Maris, CEO of the company’s investment arm Google Ventures, says it doesn’t “compete” with the ride-sharing platform. “We’re investors in Uber, ” he recently told Bloomberg‘s Emily Chang. “That’s our responsibility, to help them build as big and successful and useful a company as possible.”
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