Motorcycle riders may not be excited about new navigation feature on Google Maps

by | Jul 25, 2019

Google has added motorcycles as a mode of transportation to the list of navigation options on its Maps app in Nigeria. This is coming after adding the same feature in Kenya late last year.

The feature was announced alongside other new products during the Google for Nigeria event held in Lagos, Nigeria yesterday. According to Google, the new feature will consider safety as well as routes only accessible to motorcycles.

Metro Africa Xpress (MAX) co-founder, Adetayo Bamiduro sees the new feature as a welcome development that will ensure that riders save more time by using routes with lower traffic flow.

Adetayo, in a telephone conversation, revealed that his company has been expectant of the addition in the country, since its launch in Kenya. He thinks the new feature will increase the usage of motorcycle hailing platforms in Nigeria.

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On the contrary, Adekunle Omololu thinks the new feature may not necessarily increase the usage of motorcycle hailing platforms in the city.

Adekunle is the CEO of EasyMobility — a Lagos-based motorcycle leasing company.

Although the new navigation feature is designed to provide riders with the fastest and shortest routes, it appears that users of motorcycle hailing platforms will tend to use the feature more than the riders.

Anyone who has used an e-hailing platform in Africa may be familiar with the experience of having to describe their pick-up location to the driver or rider, even when it is specified on the map. Some of the drivers or riders simply do not use Google Maps.

Most of the motorcycle riders that Techpoint spoke with admitted that they hardly use the map. On the rare occasions that they do, they have to park by the roadside in order to use it. Others rely on their commuters to use the map and give directions.

This aligns with the responses from users of motorcycle hailing platforms. Some of these users won’t trust their safety in the hands of riders that are using a mobile phone while riding.

And just as with the riders’ responses, they will rather choose to use the map while giving directions to the rider.

As it is, users of motorcycle e-hailing platforms will use the new Google Maps motorcycle navigation feature more than riders.

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Yinka Awosanya
Yinka Awosanya

Mobile & African Tech Enthusiast │ Data Analyst │ Music

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