The head of Uber’s maps product team, Manik Gupta defines the current navigation options in its iOS app as “very, very primitive,” while the Android app lacks navigation entirely. In its coming update, however, will seriously boost in-app navigation features for Uber drivers with a little help from TomTom, a industry veteran. According to some industry analysts, they see this as a possible next step toward a self-driving fleet.
Manik Gupta also added, “When we started thinking about building this navigation experience for drivers, only then we realize there’s a big different between how traditionally people navigate from point A to point B, versus what drivers do on Uber.” Take uberPool for instance, the complexities involved, where a driver needs to grab multiple passengers and tries to get them all to their destinations in the most efficient way as possible.
Uber lauds their new navigation features like the gentle-on-the-eyes night more, a system designed to allow it to be seen from a phone that’s 3 feet away and mounted on a dashboard, and a preview of the very first turn drivers have to make after pulling away from a curb.
“Everything have been redesigned from scratch,” Gupta says and part of that includes the integration of TomTom’s navigation data to the app. It’s the beginning of a longer process, and Gupta added that drivers can still use whatever navigational app they are familiar.
Gupta said their goal is to, “build an experience that is really, really integrated in the app.” It’s a custom-made experience aimed for complex situations faced by Uber drivers.
But mapping is complicated and takes time. (Just ask Apple, whose first version of Apple Maps was one to be forgotten). It’s a point that Gupta, who was an employee of Google Maps, would never forget.
While there are proclamations that the company is doing it for autonomous driving in the future, Gupta says they have “nothing to comment on that and that they are only “focused on giving the drivers a better experience, that’s all there is to it for now.”
So Uber drivers, rejoice! Your Uber experience will not be the same anymore. Or if you are still contemplating on which navigational tool to use, check these navigation devices below, or if you prefer using a phone, click here!
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