When making a ridehail or delivery request, pick-ups and drop-offs should occur at either the entrance to the location, a designated pickup/dropoff area, or at the very least a location easily accessible by foot. Today, we are excited to announce the Pickup/Dropoff API, which transforms origin and destination inputs into optimized, routable positions, which our partners may then pass into other APIs.
Imagine a passenger or a delivery service requesting a pick-up from a shopping center. The origin coordinates for this request may be inside the building instead of on a road. If we simply route to the nearest point on any road, we may route to a back alley or other road with no actual access to the shopping center.
The Pickup/Dropoff API solves this problem by intelligently snapping the input location to a more optimized location on the road. For each input position, our GetRoutablePositions endpoint returns an associated position that is accessible by foot. Vehicles can then drive to these positions to pick up and drop off passengers or delivery items.
With naive snapping, an input inside this grocery story snaps to the road in the neighborhood behind the store, which is inaccessible by foot. With the Pickup/Dropoff API, an input inside the store snaps to the road with access to the store’s parking lot.
With naive snapping, an input inside this airport terminal snaps to a service road on the tarmac. With the Pickup/Dropoff API, an input inside the airport terminal snaps to the designated pickup location accessible to outside vehicles.
The Pickup/Dropoff API increases routing accuracy by finding the ideal pick-up and drop-off locations for any ridehail or delivery request, thus improving user experience by decreasing the number of times passengers must contact drivers to coordinate pick-ups. This improved routing accuracy also decreases wait times as it allows vehicle assignments to be more efficient (e.g. our routing engine would not assign a vehicle on the road behind the grocery store to pick-up the passenger if there is a vehicle in front of the store already). Additionally, by decreasing the time between driver arrival and pick-up completion, drivers can be “on-trip” for a greater amount of time, leading to increased fleet utilization.