Google announced that it is now incorporating Uber into its Google Maps' mobile app, a move that could have profound effect on the private taxi business. Google, which is a main investor in Uber, is hoping that it can help continue to move the company in a positive revenue direction.
Google last year led a $258 million financing round for the company in order to help it continue to expand across the US and the world.
Now, with the integration, users can see a card for Uber that will appear on the maps app, with options for picking up a private taxi for any destination. It will still have the transit and walking directions along with the time it would take to use them as well as Uber routes and the potential for hire.
Both Android and iOS versions of the app are now updated and Uber is on the prowl.
But for those who don't necessarily want to see Uber routes on the maps app, all they have to do is not download the Uber app and then the update will not matter. The new app is currently updated and ready for use in some 25 of Uber's largest cities around the world.
Users can also use the map to call Uber taxis straight away, streamlining the process for better service.
In what many are hailing as a win for Uber in its ongoing fight with Lyft for private taxi supremacy in the US, Google now lets you "call an Uber from Google Maps."
"Frequent Uber rider? If you have the Uber app installed, you can now compare your ride with transit and walking directions right from Google Maps in some cities. And if you choose the Uber option, you'll jump right into the Uber app with just one click," said Google.
Still, online and among the industry experts' circles, there is rising concern that this could be a monopolizing move that could result in a backlash. The idea could force Lyft to pay Google a large sum in order to be on the often used Maps app, which could be seen as a threat and attack on net neutrality.
Others, however, argue that this is a business move and partnership that will result in Google and Uber pushing forward their integrated business goals of developing the largest private taxi service on the planet. Time will tell who is right.