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Lyft’s new in-app navigation for drivers knocks out one more previous Uber advantage

Lyft is working with Google Maps.

Lyft’s in-app navigation
Lyft

As the battle to win over ride-hail drivers continues, Lyft is working to improve its driver experience relative to Uber, its larger rival. The next step: Making it easier for drivers to know where they’re supposed to be going.

Starting today, Lyft drivers will be able to navigate to their next pickup or dropoff directly in their driver app. Prior to this new feature, drivers had to switch out of the Lyft app to a third-party navigation service of choice — Google Maps or Waze — and then switch back when they were looking for the next passenger.

The difficulty of switching between the apps was a primary complaint the company was hearing from drivers, according to the Lyft head of product design Frank Yoo.

Lyft’s in-app navigation	Lyft

Now that Lyft — last valued at $7.5 billion — has rolled out a separate driver app, it can build out its experience by adding features within the app. Before May of this year, Lyft’s rider and driver controls were located in the same app, making it harder to add more features.

(Uber, for its part, has had in-app navigation on iOS devices since 2014 and recently expanded to Android phones.)

Beyond making the pickup and dropoff experience more efficient — and removing the awkward step of switching apps while driving — Lyft will now have better data about the routes drivers actually take. This could help the company optimize some of its other services, such as its Lyft Line carpool offering, where routing makes a difference in the company’s ability to effectively match passengers.

Drivers who prefer using Waze — also owned by Google parent company Alphabet — will initially be able to opt out of using the in app navigation.


This article originally appeared on Recode.net.