Looks like giving Google Assistant a redesigned UI wasn’t enough for Google this week, as it’s giving its digital assistant another feature to add to the roster.
Google Assistant can now help you book a ride-hailing service and get a car sent your way, but it’ll still need some help at the end. You can start things off with your voice easily enough, and Google Assistant will show you the information from within the app itself, rather than forcing you to switch to Google Maps to show off the pertinent details.
Just say something like, “Hey Google, book a ride to” and inform the digital personal assistant of your destination. Once that’s done it will show you ride-hailing prices so you can compare before you summon a car. Those price estimations will show what Uber, Lyft, GO-JEK, Ola, Grab, and “many more” services, and the feature will show wait times for each of those options as well.
If you want to speed things up, just say which ride-hailing service you want to use within the initial voice query. The new feature works on most devices where Google Assistant is available, including on the iPhone and Google Home smart speakers. Google says support for smart displays is coming at some point in the future.
Previously, the Google Assistant pulled up Google Maps if you asked to hail a taxi; now everything’s right in the Assistant window. However, there’s no hands-free way to reserve a ride — even if you request a ride on a smart speaker, bookings have to be confirmed through the service’s app on your phone.
The new ride-hailing flow works on Android, iOS devices, Google Home speakers, and third-party smart speakers that support the Assistant, with smart display support to come in the weeks ahead.
It’s available in English in any country where the supported ride services are available.