Uber is unveiling a brand new driver app today, one with navigation at its core.
Though the company’s ride-hailing app has offered drivers in-app navigation for awhile, it has been restricted to iPhone users. Moving forward, those with Android devices will also be able to receive navigation and directions to a pickup without switching between apps.
Additionally, those with iPhones will notice redesigned navigation and maps, including lane guidance, route previews, real-time traffic data, and a dark-themed interface for nighttime driving. “We focused on features to help drivers feel prepared throughout their trip,” noted Uber in a blog post.
Uber uses mapping data from multiple sources, including TomTom, and has bolstered its in-house navigational smarts via acquisitions, including maps platform De Carta, which it bought back in 2015, and assets it snapped up from Microsoft shortly after.
Of course, many people already have their navigation app of choice, be it Google Maps or Waze, so Uber is careful not to strong-arm drivers into using Uber’s own navigation features. However, there is good reason for using Uber’s in-app navigation as it ensures drivers keep their eyes on the road at all times, without toggling between various services. And this is a common theme across the navigation app realm — just yesterday, Spotify and Waze announced a partnership to integrate their respective services. The motive? To ensure drivers’ focus remains on the road.
“Our goal is to be drivers’ first choice when driving with Uber,” the company said. “This update is just the first step, and we have a lot of work ahead of us.”
Today’s news comes 24 hours after Uber announced a handful of API partnerships to help drivers file their taxes, with Tax Day now just a month away.
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