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Google is making ride-sharing a huge part of Maps

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Adding new ride-hailing apps in five countries, too

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Google Maps makes it easy for users to compare different ways of getting around: driving a car, taking public transportation, walking, or bicycling, for example. A few years ago, Uber integration — complete with estimates for pricing and length of ride — was added to give riders another option.

Now, alongside the addition of five new ride-sharing partners across five countries, Google is giving ride-sharing its very own tab in Maps, alongside bicycling, walking, and driving. It's a valuable piece of real estate for Uber and the other ride-sharing companies that are being added.

Those companies include 99Taxis in Brazil, Ola Cabs in India, Hailo in the UK and Spain, mytaxi in Germany and Spain, and Gett in the UK.

The expansion is a sign that Google wants to be the transportation hub for everyone, no matter how they choose to get around — and it could help Uber's competitors by putting them on the same menu, allowing them to differentiate on price or time of arrival. Google Maps will also now break out UberX, UberXL, and UberBlack pricing and time estimates, allowing for an even more granular breakout comparison.

Integrating with outside apps is a major new battlefront for ride services, a way for companies to get both new riders and recapture prior customers who might have wandered to a competitor.

This is likely just the beginning for outside services dropping into Google Maps, but no word on when additional companies might be available to US users.