Google Assistant Gets the Ability to Book Cabs From Uber, Ola, and More

Google on Thursday announced that Google Assistant is now getting the ability to book cabs across ride-hailing services such as Uber, Ola, Lyft, Grab, Go-Jek, and more. Users will now be able to ask Assistant, Google’s digital assistant, to book cabs from their Android phones, iPhone, Google Home, or any other Google Assistant-enabled smart speaker. Apart from the ability to book cabs, Assistant will also show you estimated wait times and pricing for each operator to help you make the decision without having to access the individual apps.

The Mountain View, California-based tech giant has curated numerous popular ride-hailing operators across the globe, however the entire list hasn’t been released yet. In India, the partners include Uber, Ola, and Meru. To prompt this new action, you will need to say “Hey Google, book me a ride to [preferred location]” prompting a list of options. Alternatively, to choose ride options from a single provider like Ola, users can say “Hey Google, get me an Ola ride to Gateway of India.”

Once done, select the preferred cab-hailing provider from your smartphone and the app will open to let you confirm the booking. This feature is rolling out in English first, and will be expanded to other languages later on. “If you’re in a hurry and your hands are all tied up, you’ll now be able to use the Assistant to see all your favourite ride services in one place and pick the one that works best for you,” said Vishal Dutta, Product Manager, Google.

Prior to this update, Google Assistant would automatically open up Google Maps when prompted for cab details. The update allows it to show details like wait times and fare pricing right on the digital assistant itself.

Earlier this week, the Google Assistant app on Android was redesigned to offer bigger visuals that are comfortable to look at, new controls and sliders for managing smart home gadgets, and a new interactive messaging interface, among other updates.