Tech giant Google has tied up with government-backed e-commerce protocol Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) and mobility app Namma Yatri to integrate metro schedules and booking options to simplify daily commutes.
“ONDC is revolutionizing the way people avail goods and services online across sectors, including mobility. We’re collaborating with ONDC as they digitize public transport at scale,” Miriam Daniel, vice-president of Google Maps, said in a blog post.
“To bring this vision to life, we are announcing a partnership with Namma Yatri, a leading mobility app on the ONDC network, that will focus on bringing metro schedules and bookings to users,” Daniel wrote, adding that by June next year, “we’ll launch Kochi Metro on Google Maps powered by Namma Yatri, and follow with other metros as they join the ONDC network.”
“We aim to not only enhance user convenience but also provide a platform for the growth of mobility startups nationwide. Together, our pilot initiative with Kochi Metro and Namma Yatri sets the stage for a more efficient and discoverable transportation landscape,” Thomas Koshy, managing director and chief executive officer at ONDC, said.
“As we strive for a future where various modes of transport seamlessly connect, our collaboration with Google Maps holds the promise of unlocking new levels of accessibility, affordability, and transformative possibilities,” Koshy added.
Vimal Kumar, founder and CEO of fintech infrastructure innovator Juspay that operates Namma Yatri, said, “Technology can drive up the adoption of public transport by making it seamless. Namma Yatri’s citizen/community-first approach, combined with deep technological innovation, can help transform this space. We are happy for this partnership. ONDC plays a key role in bringing ecosystem players together, while with Google Maps, which is widely used, this innovation can reach all citizens and have a positive effect.”
More Google Maps features on the way
In the same blog, Google also announced plans to enhance its Maps service in India with new features.
Lens in Maps, which will launch in January across 15 cities, will allow users to view nearby restaurants and their details by pointing their camera, Google said.
Google’s new Live View walking navigation feature, starting on Android, will display arrows, directions and distance markers overlaid on the Maps screen for easier navigation across 3,000 cities. The phone will also vibrate when it’s time to make a turn or on reaching the destination, Google said.
Next year, Google also plans to roll out a fuel-efficient routing feature for both four and two-wheelers in India, aiming to reduce carbon emissions by optimizing routes based on real-time traffic and vehicle type.
From its launch in other countries between October 2021 and September 2023, it’s estimated to have helped prevent more than 2.4 million metric tons of CO2e emissions globally — the equivalent of taking approximately 500,000 fuel-based cars off the road for a year,” Google said.
By January next year, users across India will be able to access this feature for four-wheelers as well as two-wheelers, Google said, adding that India and Indonesia will be the first countries where it will be rolling out this feature for two-wheelers.