Google to enter the fleet market
The new Google Maps Coordinate service combines the power of Google's global mapping technologies with smartphones to help organisations assign jobs and deploy staff more efficiently.
Daniel Chu, senior product manager at Google, said: ‘Coordinate has been designed to improve communication between businesses and their employees in the field.
‘As the number of mobile employees continues to grow, so does the need for a location sharing solution that works in real-time.’
Google cites research firm IDC’s report which estimates that by 2015 there will be 1.3bn mobile workers across the globe, accounting for 37% of the total workforce.
Google’s announcement comes weeks after Apple revealed that it is working with several car manufacturers to integrate its Siri mobile personal assistance device into vehicles. The voice-controlled system will allow drivers to access its functions through a button on the steering wheel using a programme called Eyes Free.
And fleet management now has Twitter functionality thanks to a new service called PoolCar which uses an in-car Android phone or tablet to send out information on vehicle location, speed, carbon dioxide output, and service and maintenance requests. It also allows vehicles to receive Tweets with information on traffic congestion and route suggestions.
Google Maps Coordinate will cost businesses £10 per user per month, although that is an introductory price that lasts until September 1. The system will only work on a mobile phone or tablet device running Android 2.3 or higher.
Chu added: ‘Any business can sign up for Coordinate. It is built to work seamlessly with the entire Google Enterprise Maps and Earth experience, and it comes with an API (a software interface) that can integrate with any of your existing systems.’