The success of Lyft thanks to Google Maps APIs

Lyft uses Google Maps APIs to help users save money and reach their destinations faster. Vishay Nihalani, Product Manager at Lyft, talked about his experience in Google's blog.

BBVAOpen4U
|
13 Jan. 2017

Lyft is a successful transportation service in the USA that can also be found in major Asian cities such as Bangkok, Hanoi and Singapore. With Lyft, private users use their car every day to earn extra money and share journeys in the same style as other mobility startups.

In an increasingly competitive market, the company decided to go ahead and find the simplest and most convenient way of connecting riders and drivers. And that’s when Google Maps and its APIs came across, as explained by Vishay Nihalani.

The value of data APIs

When they started using Google Maps APIs with their internal operations tools, Lyft saw how valuable they were and decided to work with Google to launch their services in their customer-facing apps.

The Google Maps Android API creates Lyft's Android app's main interface – the map users see when they log in. Users can drop pins on a map or enter their location manually to indicate pick-up and drop-off locations.

Through reverse geocoding, the app will recognize locations and determine an address automatically based on where the pin is dropped. It also helps people find their locations by using the Google Places search API. People often think about the places they want to go by name rather than the street address. The Google Places Search API allows a passenger to enter the name of a destination.

"When customers use our app, they expect there'll be a car waiting for them and they'll get to their destination as quickly as possible. They need to know when they'll be picked up and when they'll get where they want to go," said Vishay Nihalani. With Google Maps APIs, Lyft users can quickly see this information right in the app.

Increase in customers and revenue

In 2015, Lyft delivered more than two million rides per month in 65 cities and saw an increase of more than 500% in rides and revenue compared to the year before, thanks in large part to Google Maps.

Lyft continues exploring ways to make their services even better by using maps to improve the ride options. For instance, they are considering expanding their new Lyft Line option for riders going in the same direction.

According to Nihalani, APIs are a perfect ally and “Google has been a great partner and has really contributed to our success.”

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