Best Navigation Apps for Rideshare Drivers and Mastering the Art of Knowing Your Way Around

0
62
navigation apps for Uber Driver

Anyone who has driven rideshare knows exactly how critical navigation can be. The more accurate and stable a navigation app is, the more pleased your riders will be. That is why we have gone and evaluated the top navigation apps for rideshare drivers.

Your choice of navigation app is often the difference between a five-star rating and a tip and a four-star rating and no tip. Sure, other factors go into a smooth ride, but mostly they are outside of the driver’s control. Navigation, on the other hand, is something every driver can use to their advantage.

Why is Navigation So Important?

Ever had the ride from hell? You know the one. You struggle to locate the rider’s pickup location. You’re late to the pickup, and the rider seems agitated. When you get going, you run into a wall with traffic. You hear the passenger sigh. Yep! There goes your rating. When you finally reach your rider’s destination, you find out that you’ve missed a huge surge. Suddenly, you realize that your navigation app isn’t doing you any favors. A few minutes later you see you’ve gotten a bad rating. What went wrong?

Your navigation app failed you.

What to Look for Navigation Apps for Rideshare Drivers?

I know that the majority of us rely on a few apps when we’re on the road such as navigation apps for rideshare drivers. Whether you use the in-app navigation of Uber or Lyft or you have chosen an external app, navigation is key.

navigation apps for rideshare drivers

But what exactly should drivers be looking for in a navigation app? Here are a few key questions to consider.

Advertisement

Does the app reroute you?

Say you’ve made a wrong turn. We’ve all been there. Either the app lags and you blow past the turn, or you are simply in an area that you aren’t familiar with. It happens, that is where a reliable navigation app can help you. You need an app that will reroute you and do it quickly. It can often help you, at the very least, appear competent.

Does the app work in your locale?

Whether you drive in rural areas or congested city streets, you need an app that functions. This is probably the most crucial consideration when selecting an app. Everything else is bells and whistles; what you need is consistency. Try a few out and see which one is the most stable in your area.

Do you get an estimated time of arrival (E.T.A.)

While this is not always critical, it is helpful for that one passenger that is in a big hurry. I do not recommend ever quoting a drop-off time to a passenger, but it can soothe nerves if you’ve got an accurate navigation app. Keep in mind if you miss that E.T.A. you might be punished for it.

Does the app offer you alternate routes and options?

Sometimes you want to avoid highways, tolls, or you know there is a log jam in the area. This means you need an app that offers you options. Most navigation apps for rideshare drivers have settings or selections you can set to your specifications.

uber ride batch matching

Ultimately what you need is an app that functions, is stable, and provides you the best shot at arriving at pickup and dropoff safely and efficiently. Here’s what we recommend.

1. Google Maps

Google Maps is probably the most stable and trusted brand in the game. Not only is the app easy to master, but it is also easy to acquire, and it has the backing of Google. It is the gold standard in navigation, and it comes stock on most phones.

OS Availability

Google Maps is available on both Android and Apple OS platforms.

Customer Rating and Reviews

Google Maps maintains a rating of 4.3 on Google Playstore and holds a 4.7 on the Apple App Store.

What We Like About It

It is plain and simple. Google Maps is one of the most powerful and versatile navigation apps for rideshare drivers available. Whether you are talking about the slick U.I. (interface), turn by turn directions, lane change assist, smooth rerouting and traffic analysis, voice-guided navigation, or the killer display of multiple lanes, Google Maps has it all.

Google Maps - Navigation apps for rideshare drivers

Google Maps also features day and night mapping to provide clarity in low or high light conditions. Also, the acquisition of Waze by Google has provided Google Maps with complex real-time traffic data, that helps drivers stay informed. Throw in the fact that it has the most accurate E.T.A. and seldom shuts off unexpectedly, and you can see why Google Maps is our #1 choice.

What We Don’t Like About It

Ultimately, there isn’t much to complain about. However, I have noticed that there is a significant power drain on the phone when on long trips. There are also some strange pronunciations of local street names or locales, but that is not enough to downgrade it.

Pricing

Considering it is also free, makes it that much better.

2. Waze

The veritable prince of navigation remains a huge competitor to its parent-owned Google Maps. Waze used to be the go-to app for nearly every rideshare driver, but since Google acquired it in 2013, much of its novelty has been lost. However, it still is a popular, stable, and efficient option.

OS Availability

Google Maps is available on both Android and Apple devices on the Google Play and Apple App Stores.

Customer Rating and Reviews

Waze maintains a rating of 4.4 on the Google Play Store and a 4.8 on the Apple App Store.

What We Like About It

Customization is the number one feature on Waze, particularly since the real-time crowd-sourced data has lost its novelty. Real-time traffic data was what attracted may users to the Waze platform instead of going with Google Maps, but now its a toss-up.

Waze - Navigation apps for rideshare drivers

Ultimately, Waze is more fun, where Google Maps is a strictly technical travel assistant. Waze allows you to play music through Spotify and Audiobooks by Audible.

The app also features location-based gas prices,  accidents, roadwork, and more. Where it shines is its focus on community by allowing drivers to sound off on road conditions. I’ve personally been very thankful for the object in the road warning in the past.  

What We Don’t Like About It

The major drawback is the lack of lane change assist on Waze. If your smartphone doesn’t have a huge screen, the display can often appear cluttered. In the end, the fun of Waze and customizable features like different voices, colors, and in-app music only decreases the professional value.

Pricing

Waze is a free app on both Android and Apple phones, and because of this, it’s the go-to for users who dislike Google Maps.

3. Sygic

If your car has an in-dash navigation system that you love to show off, then perhaps Sygic is the navigation app for you. This navigation app is popular for features like offline maps and augmented reality.

Sygic navigation app for drivers

Whether you want to project the navigation data on your windshield at night or if you want your navigation app to appear futuristic, Sygic is your app.

OS Availability

Sygic is available on both Android and Apple devices on the Google Play and Apple App Stores.

Customer Rating and Reviews

Sygic maintains a 4.7 rating on the Google Play Store and a 4.6 rating in the Apple App Store.

What We Like About It

If you are a rural driver, Sygic gives you access to offline mapping, which is a huge plus. This has been a function that I have used multiple times in the mountains here in Colorado. The additional futuristic features like augmented reality and windshield projections are just cool bonuses.

What We Don’t Like About It

Sygic is a paid-for app, which to me, is a clear downer. Unless you absolutely require offline maps, Sygic is a premium navigation app that is only useful if you are into gadgetry. Offline mapping does run relatively slow, and there is no voice-activated input system which means you can’t work on the fly.

Pricing

Sygic offers a seven day free trial for both Android and Apple users. However, after the seven-day free trial, a standard premium license goes for approximately $13.99.

4. Navmii

Navmii navigation app for drivers

If you are looking for an app that is simplistic and free, look no further than the “You drive, and we will get you there” app that is Navmii. This free navigation app features offline maps and a free app that runs on advertisements. Since you can store maps offline, this can come in handy if you are low on data at a particular time.

OS Availability

Navmii is available on both Android and Apple devices on the Google Play and Apple App Stores.

Customer Rating and Reviews

Navmii maintains a 3.8 rating on the Google Play Store and a 3.0 on the Apple App Store.

What We Like About It

Offline maps and the ability to conserve data on lean months are some of the major perks of Navmii. The simple interface is also a popular aspect of this navigation app. One of the novel features of the Navmii app is celebrity voice navigation. You can have Snoop Dogg give you turn by turn direction. Who wouldn’t get down on that? Throw in some nice voice-guided and activated and real-time crowdsourced traffic data, and you’ve got an excellent alternative to apps like Sygic.

What We Don’t Like About It

The ads can be a huge distraction and can slow down your phone. If you are fighting advertisements and your navigation is running slowly, you can’t drive effectively. With that said, if you don’t want to pay the $125 for a full version of Sygic, Navmii might be the app for you.

Pricing

Navmii is free on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. For only $2, you can buy the premium feature, which eliminates ads.

5. Uber Driver App

While the Uber Driver In-App Navigation is not known to be the most popular app, it does have advantages. I utilize this app 95% of the time simply because of its capability to switch between successive rides with ease.

Even if you have the fastest phone in the world, app-switching between Uber Driver or the Lyft App and Google Maps or Waze takes time. It is often only a fraction of a second before the navigation boots up, but with the Uber Driver App, there is no question about which is faster.

Primary Advantage

When you throw in the fact that the Uber Driver navigation also pulls data from other platforms like TomTom, Google Maps, Bing Maps, and more. The navigation also pulls data from Uber Beacon’s that further solidifies the accuracy of incoming data that drivers receive. I have personally driven with all navigation apps for rideshare drivers in this article, and I recommend the Uber Navigation solely for ease of use.

Shrinking Disadvantages

The app has had its issues in the past, particularly with stability. Just a year ago, I had multiple issues with the Uber Navigation App, but now, I rarely come across a problem.  Uber has been pouring money into research and development, and one of those funnels goes directly into more accurate mapping.

Bonus feature, if the Uber Driver Navigation fails, you can always blame it on Uber; riders are often very keen to accept this. While this might seem deceptive, it is a simple trick to protect yourself from rouge 1-star ratings from unhappy customers. If you appeal to the fact that the mistake was Uber’s, to begin with, they are much less likely to tag you with a bad rating.

Conclusion

When it comes down to brass tacks, you need to select the navigation app that functions the best for you. What is important to you? Is it stability? Customization? Or do you need offline access to maps because you live in a rural area? My suggestion as always is to do your due diligence and try several navigation apps for rideshare drivers, then decide for yourself. Now get out there and navigate your way to a five-star rating!

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here