In a surprising move, Google has decided to drop support for booking Uber rides inside Google Maps. The search giant hasn’t offered any explanation as to why it’s done this, but there a few rumors out and about.
To be clear, Uber still pops up as an option when you tap on the Service tab in Google Maps. You can see price estimates for the company alongside rivals like Lyft in the US. However, you won’t be able to book a ride directly in Google Maps now. Instead, choosing Uber will take you to the ride-sharing firm’s app.
Google Maps Uber Ban Reasons
Google hasn’t said anything publicly about this, although its Google Maps Help page does state that “you can no longer book Uber rides directly in Google Maps.” The brand had introduced the functionality with great fanfare back in January 2017.
It mysteriously pulled the ability from iOS last summer. Android Police says that the feature was still around in Maps version 9.72 APK for Android back in February 2018. Something appears to have changed behind the scenes.
Some say Uber wanted to direct traffic towards its own app instead of leaving things to Google. Others point out that Google’s parent company Alphabet has invested a significant amount into Lyft, so it doesn’t make sense to help its competitor this way.
Perhaps another reason could be the acrimonious court battle which took place between Google and Uber earlier this year. The former’s subsidiary Waymo had accused the latter of stealing parts of its self-driving technology.
The case ended after 4 days in court when Waymo agreed to settle with Uber. It got $245 million and a promise from the latter not to use its tech in hardware or software.