Micromobility company Bird has officially joined the ranks of e-scooter and e-bike operators that are integrated with Google Maps, which now surfaces nearby vehicles for users in the U.S.
Bird's announcement comes just a day after Spin also announced its integration with Google Maps and just a few weeks after Lime, which has been integrated with Google Maps since 2019, announced an integration with transit planning app Moovit.
Bird already works with mobility-as-a-service platforms including Skipr, Tranzer and soon Whim in Antwerp and throughout Belgium. The company has also recently partnered with major national rail companies SNCF in France and Trenitalia in Italy. It plans to expand its Google Maps integration with Bird's partner cities outside of the U.S. in the future, according to a spokesperson for the company. These sorts of integrations are par for the course as micromobility companies seek to become further entwined with the broader transportation ecosystem.
“As demand for sustainable transportation increases, Bird is committed to meeting this need while simultaneously reducing street traffic in already congested cities and towns," said Bird CEO and founder Travis VanderZanden, in a statement. "Through our integration with Google Maps, we are making it easier for individuals to embrace new modes of eco-friendly travel and to ultimately eliminate our collective reliance on congestion inducing, gas-powered cars – especially in urban settings across the globe where a majority of trips are under five miles.”
As with Lime and Spin, Bird's vehicles will show up as an option under the bike toggle of the Google Maps app. The app will show information such as estimated travel time, cost and environmental impact. Bird did not respond in time for publication to a request for information on whether estimated battery range would also be available, which is displayed with Lime and Spin's vehicles on the app.
Users who choose to take a trip with Bird will have to click on the "unlock" button displayed on the bottom of the Google Maps screen, which will direct them to the Bird app, available on iOS and Android, to unlock and pay for a vehicle.
Bird's news about its integration with Google Maps comes on the same day that the operator, along with Veo and Lime, launch New York City's first e-scooter pilot in the Bronx. The timing of this launch alone would make this integration beneficial for Bird, but the scooter company potentially stands to gain even more in NYC. Last month, Google Maps began trialing a feature in the big apple to show users which train cars were the busiest in order to help riders social distance better. Now, those users can ostensibly choose to seek out a Bird or Lime vehicle via the app rather than cram into a packed subway car.