Maltese ride-hailing company eCabs has entered into a pioneering strategic partnership with global tech giant Google.

The partnership, signed at the Google offices in Milan earlier this month, will see eCabs integrate several of Google’s industry-leading tools into its ride-hailing tech stack, revolutionising its products and powering several new innovation projects.

The strategic collaboration will empower all eCabs ride-hailing products to harness the Google Maps Mobility Platform, the global tech giant’s hyper-intelligent fleet and route management engine.

This integration means ride-hailing tech platforms deve­loped by eCabs will now boast best-in-class geo-location tools and smart route management systems, for optimised user, driver, and tenant experience.

In practice, this means eCabs will be better placed to navigate traffic globally, create optimised routes, and shorten waiting and riding times.

The strategic partnership makes eCabs among the very first B2B private hire passenger mobility tech providers in the world to successfully integrate Google’s mapping tech stack for ride-hailing purposes.

Furthermore, eCabs has also agreed to migrate to the Google Cloud hosting service, providing the best security and reliability of service in the industry.

The successful migration to Google Cloud also radically improves scalability for all of its products, enabling enhanced testing and piloting.

In practice, this means eCabs will be better placed to navigate traffic globally

The strategic partnership comes weeks after eCabs successfully began internationalising its mobility product.

Earlier this year, new ride-hailing platforms powered by eCabs were successfully launched in Athens, Greece, and Bucharest, Romania, with several other jurisdictions in the pipeline.

eCabs Technologies CEO Matthew Bezzina said the strategic partnership with Google marks a pivotal moment for the company. It means precision estimated times of arrival (ETAs), optimised routes, and a suite of new user tools that will take eCabs to the next level of user experience.

“This is a very proud day for all of us at eCabs and we are thrilled to be bringing this innovation to our users, riders and drivers, as well as our tenants who have entrusted eCabs with powering their own ride-hailing ventures across Europe and beyond,” he said.

“Partnering with Google, the undisputed world leader in global mapping and route management technology, is an endorsement, not only of eCabs’ mission to be an important player in the international ride-hailing market but of the high standards of our dedicated and capable team. It signals that we are competing at the highest level in a complex and challenging global industry,” Bezzina said.

“eCabs was born to make transport efficient, accessible and affordable for all. We couldn’t be happier to be partnering with Google to provide tangible user benefits through best-of-breed technology,” he added.

eCabs chief technology officer Luca Di Michele said the first phase of integrating Google’s mapping technology into the eCabs system is already under way.

“This is a quantum leap for us. It will allow eCabs to continue to expand and grow, providing better ride-hailing technology, not just for our home market in Malta, but for new jurisdictions where our tenants are launching their brands,” he said.

Users of the eCabs platform should expect to start seeing changes to the app in 2024.

Highlights of the Google Maps mobility platform partnership

• World-leading technology: Through the alliance with Google, eCabs is set to unveil a suite of world-leading technologies that will drastically improve the ride-hailing experience. Leveraging Google’s cutting-edge solutions, eCabs aims to provide users with state-of-the-art features and improved level of service.

• Better ETAs: The integration will give eCabs access to new smart routing algorithms for improved traffic management. New prediction tools, as well as historic and real-time data, will allow for platform optimisation, meaning more precision in pick-up and estimated arrival times.

• Optimised driver dispatching: Google Maps’ rich data combined with eCabs’ operational expertise will ensure the right driver is dispatched to riders depending on multiple real-time factors, cutting down on and being more precise with waiting times while maximising partner fleets’ time and earnings.• Fewer deficiencies: eCabs tenants will bene­fit from a tech stack on par with the world’s leading ride-hailing players, allowing them to launch the best user experience possible.

• Strategic innovation: The partnership signifies a commitment to strategic innovation, with eCabs harnessing Google’s expertise to enhance operational efficiency, elevate user experience, and introduce industry-leading features that will be available for all tenants across all eCabs products. It will also power pilot projects across AI and machine learning.

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