Google Maps Platform is the developer side of Google Maps, which is launching a new service that will cater to on-demand rides and delivery companies. The service will offer functionalities like finding nearby drivers, and sharing trip and order progress information with customers.
Providing delivery solutions is something that Google Maps Platform had never focused on before, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, deliveries have become more widely used than before. Back in 2018, Google Maps Platform did offer a similar functionality, though: in-app navigation for ridesharing companies.
The aim behind providing on-demand rides and delivery solutions is to help businesses improve their operations, and help drivers and customers transform their journey from booking to arrival or delivery, according to Google.
Predictable pricing per completed trip will be shown to the user, Google senior product manager Eli Danziger added in the announcement.
The foundation of this service is the Google Maps Routing Service, which is used for finding optimized routes with the shortest or fastest path and can even be tweaked for deliveries by bikes or motorcycles. It also enables arrival time predictions for deliveries that are time-sensitive and shows pricing estimates as well.
The Neary Drivers feature within the Google Maps Platform helps finding the closest driver via an API call. Custom rankings can be added to make sure that the driver is matched to the right route.
In addition to that, in-app navigation is also accessible within the Google Maps Platform and is tied closely with the rest of the features on it.
Google's real-time trip and order progress capabilities can also be integrated to keep customers informed throughout the pick-up to drop-off or pick-up to delivery journey. A real-time view of the driver’s current location will also be shown, along with the route and ETA.