6 May, 2021

Google Maps enhancements for ridesharing, logistics & delivery

Google's new location modifiers will improve the user experience in apps

Have you ever been in a hurry to get somewhere and your driver is taking the long route? Then they drop you off on the wrong side of a busy four lane road and you have to dodge cars, bikes and buses as you bolt to your meeting in a flurry? 

Nothing about being late is enjoyable, nor is it safe or a good user experience. Google Maps has recently developed two new Location Modifier features for the Directions and Distance API’s to improve the Maps capabilities.

How do they work? 

Let’s take the rideshare example from above and put these new features into context. The Location Modifier features available within the Google Maps Platform (GMP), allow for users to select their ideal side of the road drop off location and heading direction. 

So a rideshare user wants a ride from A to B, but they’re on the opposite side of the street to where their driver arrives to collect them. The route on the driver’s map will automatically update the route and the trip cost to reflect them having to take a U-turn to pick up the passenger on the opposite side of the street. With the added benefit of Side of Road navigation, users are empowered to select which side of the road is their preferred end destination; prompting the driver to arrive on the correct side of the road and avoiding the headache of navigating lanes of traffic.

Similarly, if the user has input an address on one side of a two lane road, the driver’s route can be automatically updated to ensure they approach the destination from the correct direction, allowing them to drop the rider at the door.

See below a case example to exhibit the side of road feature in action: 


Who will benefit from these new featuers? 

Well, everyone really. Features such as these are applicable to multiple industries including ridesharing apps but also delivery, courier services and transport too. The features have the ability to provide directions for public transport, cycling, driving, and walking. 

For both customers and companies the benefits are fruitful. Companies will have happier employees (such as delivery drivers or rideshare drivers) thanks to this update as it will ultimately make their jobs easier and more seamless. It will save them time in locating passengers and allow them to provide a more targeted, premium service to customers. 

The company can also enjoy being a favoured choice as customers begin to experience the benefits of this service for themselves. In turn, customers will be more likely to rebook with you due to their exceptional service experience, driven by the accuracy of the Google Maps data available to company employees. Improvements in precision origin and destination data equates to less time and money spent on driver and customer confusion, therefore—more time is saved on both sides. 

These two API’s have evolved from Google Maps’ extensive work with leading ride-share companies, with the intention to improve the routing experience and fee calculations for rideshare, transport and delivery businesses.

How can I implement these features in my business? 

If you are a developer who is interested in applying these new Google Maps features in your business, you download the developer notes here. Alternatively, if you would like to use these features for your business and you have no idea where to begin, our team is here to help! 

Our Liveli team, as Google Premier Partners in Location-based services, are well equipped to support you with your GMP needs when it comes to both technical and billing processes. 

Reach out to us today to find out more about how we can help you.

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