Micro mobility and sharing economy – Google updates that you might find helpful

Living in a big city can be quite stressful as population grows at a faster rate and the need to move residents through existing transportation networks becomes more pressing. 

In this dynamic world, micro mobility and sharing services have the potential to better connect people with public transit, reduce reliance on private cars, all while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

One of the first companies who has recognized this potential is Google. In fact it has launched a new feature within the navigation app that is very helpful when choosing the right combination of transport to get to a place as quickly as possible.

The new feature allows users to combine several modes of transport, including ridesharing and cycling.

When using Google Maps, you’ll see how to reach your destination by only using public transportation just like before, but you’ll also see options that add in ridesharing and biking in a Mixed Modes section. If you pick a ridesharing route, you will also be given information about the cost of the ride, traffic and expected waiting time. You can also choose your favorite provider.

If you prefer biking, the app can suggest specific cycling routes or the closest bus stop that you can reach by bike to save time. 

Google maps also has an option for people who prefer scooters. One year ago, Lime and google Maps teamed up extending the reach of micro mobility to one of the world’s most popular GPS mapping services. In cities where Lime operates, riders are able to locate nearby Lime scooters, pedal bikes and e-assist bikes directly from Google Maps.

The group who will benefit the most from this update is commuters: data reports that in big cities the use of electric scooters reduces commuting time by more than 10 minutes.

Another important feature is the one displaying crowdedness predictions, which is extremely relevant since keeping distance is very important nowadays and excessive crowdedness might prevent us from being able to use public transportation. 

Further possibilities that are likely to become reality in the future are options based on speed, price and carbon footprint.

Google is not the only company trying to appeal transit riders: Uber, Bolt and Citymapper are other tech giants involved in the same activity. However Google is strategically well positioned, even though it is not a transport operator, thanks to the data and the resources it disposes of.

The new features are constantly being updated in order to face the society’s developing need for convenient, quick and environmentally friendly ways of taking journeys across city centers. The increasing visibility of scooters alongside cycling and other transit options in Google Maps will certainly encourage more active and sustainable ways to travel and shows how society is rapidly shifting its preferences on transportation.

Martina Mascaro