After announcing some updates to the Google Assistant user experience yesterday, today Google is rolling out a new way of booking rides with your voice — or at least getting most of the way there. Starting this week, you’ll be able to say “Hey Google, book a ride to” or “Hey Google, get me a taxi to” your destination.
Assistant will then respond by listing off price estimates and current wait times for Uber, Lyft, Ola, Grab, GO-JEK, “and many more” ride-hailing apps, according to Google. You can avoid the longer list and specify your preferred service by using its name when requesting a ride. This works on Android, iPhone, Google Home, and all other smart speakers that have Assistant built in. Support for smart displays is coming soon.
Previously, Assistant would kick you over to Google Maps for this info, as it already lists these price estimates for the services. Now it’s basically just surfacing that same information right in the Assistant window.
But ultimately, you’ll still need to pull out your phone to finalize things and get a car headed your way through that company’s respective app.
Google says the new ride requests will be available “first in English and any country where one of our supported ride service partners operate. We plan to expand to more languages in the coming months.”
Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant also supports Uber hailing, and it lets you actually summon a car without requiring any confirmation with your smartphone. But reviews on how well the skill works are pretty mixed.