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Google has announced a new update to Google Maps that brings deeper integration with ride hailing service Uber. While it was already possible to see a pickup ETA and price estimate for Uber, Lyft and others within Google Maps, now you can also book an Uber without leaving the app.
As part of the update you can now get an overview of where the cars are by looking at the map, just as if you were using the dedicated Uber application. The bottom half of the screen will show tabs for different services that you have linked your account to and a carousel with circular icons below that where users can pick their preferred ride type. Once you've booked a ride you'll see a small card across the bottom with your driver's details along with help, call and cancel buttons.
You don't even need to have the Uber app installed on your smartphone in order to hail a ride, though you will need an active account of course. You can take a look at information about your destination while en route. So menus, hours and other helpful details are only a swipe away.
It's unclear if you can hail rides from Lyft and competing services in-app, or if it's only showing ETA and price estimates for the time being, since Google's announcement only mentions its integration with Uber.
The update is starting to roll out today and will be available globally for Google Maps on Android and iOS.