As a rideshare driver, your GPS is critical. There’s nothing worse than dealing with a faulty navigation and an irritated passenger.
Our team took the liberty of reviewing the best GPS navigation apps on the market and reviewed them in this post.
What to Look for in Uber Navigation Apps
If you’re a rideshare driver, there is more to be concerned about than simply choosing the best car to Uber in.
Here’s a few things you should consider when searching for the best GPS driving app:
- Does the app reroute you if you make a wrong turn? This is especially important when you are clueless about an area you’re driving in. Good GPS systems will catch your mistake as soon as possible and quickly find a new route for you to take to get you back on track.
- Does the app work well on city roads or congested areas? Some GPS apps simply can’t handle congested city environments. Between interferences from tall buildings and navigating close-together roads, an app may struggle to figure out where you are.
- Does the app offer multiple routes so you can avoid delays, closed roads, etc? The best map app for rideshare drivers is one that will give you the option to avoid certain roads that you know will cost you money or cause delays.
- Does the app offer you an estimated time of arrival (ETA)? Your passengers may want to know about how long they can expect their ride to be until they reach their destination. It’s helpful to have an app that gives you an accurate ETA based on current traffic, your speed, and other factors.
- Does the app offer live traffic reports and other useful information? Speaking of traffic, a good GPS driving app should give you live traffic reports and other delay information so you can be aware of any interferences you may encounter on your drive.
Now, let’s break down our top 5 picks.
1. Uber Nav
Uber has its own navigation app, known as Uber Nav, built right into its driver app. Uber understands how important navigation is for its rideshare drivers, so it aims to make the process even more simple with its built-in app GPS. Uber Nav is compatible with any smart device that can run the Uber app.
Uber Nav pulls GPS data from several systems, like Google Maps, Bing Maps, and TomTom, for a more comprehensive navigation experience. This means less chance of mess-ups from the navigation system, even in city driving. Plus, for Uber drivers, you’ll have quick access to your navigation without having to switch between apps, since it’s already build into the Uber app you’ll be using.
The app has had issues in the past with functionality, especially when navigating congested areas. However, it is continuously improving by partnering with other navigation systems to become more accurate in any situation.
Who is it Best For?
Those who already drive for Uber who want a simple way to use navigation from within the Uber app.
2. Google Maps
Perhaps the most well-known navigation app, Google Maps continues to stay on top of the pack. The app comes standard on new Android devices, but it’s also available for free for iOS.
Google Maps switches between day and night map viewing, for the best lighting possible in either situation. It also has helpful benefits, like intelligent re-routing if you get off course, live traffic reports, voice-enabled location search, and multiple routes to avoid traffic and other delays. You’ll also have super-accurate ETAs based on your speed, current traffic, and other considerations.
Google Maps has some awkward pronunciations for roads and cities, but the voice-guided directions definitely make up for the weird words.
Who is it Best For?
Rideshare drivers who want the most hands-free navigation. With voice-enabled address searches and voice-guided turn by turn directions, you will rarely have to touch your phone to get updated directions from Google Maps.
Google purchased Waze in 2013 for $1.15 billion, so it must have known the app was up to some good. Available for iOS and Android devices, Waze is quickly becoming one of the most popular navigation apps.
Waze is a community-based GPS app, meaning that it sources information from other drivers in your area to bring you the most up-to-date information about where you’re driving. Others can let you know about traffic, accidents, roadwork, gas prices, and anything else that can affect your commute. Others can even help improve the accuracy of Waze by updating its maps when they see a needed correction.
Waze doesn’t include lane assistance, which can make it tricky to know which lane you need to be in for highway driving. Users also say that the roads and lanes on the app can be difficult to see, and sometimes the zoom feature doesn’t work as accurately as it should.
Who is it Best For?
Waze is, perhaps, one of the most user-friendly navigation apps for rideshare drivers. Uber drivers can benefit from the information other drivers in the area provide. Since hard-to-navigate maps can be updated by users, city driving can be more accurate when using Waze.
Sygic is available for Android, iOS, and Windows devices, and it runs through your vehicle’s in-dash system. You can try it out for 7 days for free, but after that, you’ll need to purchase a premium license to continue using it.
Sygic gives you the opportunity to access maps even when you’re offline, which is especially helpful if you run out of data or are not in a Wi-Fi accessible area. You can’t always rely on your cell phone’s service to work, especially if you’re travelling in a more off-the-grid area, so this is a good feature for Uber drivers to consider using.
The offline map mode can run somewhat slow. You’ll also have to add your address information manually, as auto-filled addresses won’t work with no internet access. The prices can run you up to $125, but this is just a one-time fee and includes map updates for life.
Who is it Best For?
Uber drivers who often drive outside of normal cell phone service areas, or just want the added peace of mind knowing that they can pull up maps offline, if needed.
Navmii is a free GPS app for Android and iOS devices, with the option to purchase an ad-free version. The app features a minimalistic interface which makes it simple to use and understand.
Navmii offers some fun elements, like the ability to compete with others to make it to the leaderboard for best drivers. The app will take into account your driving safety and habits, such as speed and duration of drives, and reward you points so you can see how you stack up against other drivers.
Aside from that, the app offers free real time traffic data so you can be aware of any possible hangups on your route. Navmii will notify you of accidents, road closures, or other delays so you can find alternate routes, if possible.
Individual maps have to be downloaded, requiring either data or a Wi-Fi connection. Also, the image quality on the app isn’t the greatest. In fact, it’s somewhat cartoon-like.
Who is it Best For?
This app is best for Uber drivers who want to provide a little extra for their passengers. Navmii offers over 17 million new Points of Interest, which can help you find special locations along your route. So, if you want to be a true passenger-pleaser, you can find places when your passengers ask for them, like cool local eateries, museums, or hotels.
The Best = Google Maps
Although each of these maps offers specific benefits for Uber drivers, Google Maps seems to prevail in terms of safety and functionality. With the ability to use it hands-free as you drive, you won’t have to take your eyes off the road to find out where you need to go next. Plus, real-time traffic data, accurate ETAs, re-routing, and lane assistance make this app the best all-around navigation helper for rideshare drivers.
Did we miss any? What’s your go to app?