Google Maps Update Integrates Uber Car-Sharing

May 06, 2014 04:22 PM EDT | Jordan Ecarma

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The latest update to the Google Maps application includes integration with Uber, the ride-sharing service now in 56 American cities.

Both iOS and Android versions of Google Maps have the Uber app as a travel option, CNET reported. Maps users who live in a city with Uber and have already installed the Uber app will see the car service with walking, driving and public transportation along with their respective travel times.

Uber, which has launched in 35 countries, lets users choose from tiered driving service options that range from regular drivers who use their own car and the Uber app to professional drivers with black-tinted windows. The travel transaction is completed through the app and the user's credit card information.

Google and Uber have had a longtime relationship, with Google Ventures investing $258 million into Uber's last funding round in 2013. Altogether, Uber took in $361.2 million during that funding round and received a $3.5 billion valuation. '

CNET noted that the Google Maps integration could stay exclusive to Uber or expand to other car-sharing competitors such as Sidecar and Lyft. The Mountain View, Calif.-headquartered company declined to comment to CNET as to whether or not it will expand Maps integration to other car services.

Other updates for Maps include lane guidance while in navigation road to let the driver know which lane is needed to exit; more accurate public transportation information; and the ability to mark places on a map with a star for later, TIME reported. Another important new element for Maps is the ability to download certain sections of maps to be used while offline. 

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