Driver Routing and Navigation

Driver Routing image The Driver Routing and Navigation capability is a Last Mile Fleet Solution toolkit comprised of two SDKs: the Navigation SDK and the Driver SDK. It provides enterprise-level features that embed the Google Maps experience into your driver application.

What can you do with driver routing and navigation?

With Driver Routing and Navigation, you use both the Navigation SDK and Driver SDK to tune the driving experience to suit your delivery model. Use the Navigation SDK to create a turn-by-turn navigation experience in your app to guide drivers in real-time. Customize the navigation experience to match the look and feel of your app and enhance drivers' broader workflows with optimized routes and dropoff locations.

In addition to customizing the driving experience with the Navigation SDK, you can provide drivers with a visualization of their full day route on a map using the Driver SDK Route Overview API. This makes it easy for drivers to preview the day before they get going, better understand the order of the stops, and have more accurate ETA information for each stop and when their route will finish.

Use the Driver SDK to enable your driver locations and route progress to be visualized through the Shipment Tracking and Fleet Tracking capabilities.

Why use driver routing and navigation?

Driver routing image When you manage a delivery fleet, it's crucial to improve your delivery predictability and driver productivity in order to meet consumer expectations. Driver routing and navigation helps you more efficiently route your drivers, avoid delays and missed deliveries, and improve your driver's satisfaction.

  • Improve driver satisfaction — Your app can help drivers feel in control and aware as they accomplish a day of tasks. Your drivers don't have to learn a new map interface, but can use familiar Google Maps navigation. The experience can be customized to reinforce your brand.
  • Improve driver task productivity — Guide your drivers to the right spot with routes that reflect real-time traffic. This is especially useful for new, part-time, or seasonal drivers who need to quickly ramp up to their tasks. In addition, you can provide custom routes and map elements specific to your delivery service.
  • Improve delivery predictability — With an app that embeds the Google Maps experience, you can have more confidence that your drivers follow expected route plans. Keeping your drivers within your application also improves the quality of location signals you get.

How it works

The following diagram shows the sequences of operations between all components of Driver Routing and Navigation. The Driver SDK communicates location updates to the Fleet Engine backend. The Navigation SDK presents turn by turn directions (and other navigation information) to the driver. Your backend handles all other delivery communication to Fleet Engine, such as creating and updating vehicles and tasks. For more information on the kinds of communication you can handle with your backend, see Integrating the Deliveries API in the Fleet Engine documentation.

Flow chart for Driver Routing and Navigation process

How to use driver routing and navigation

The process below demonstrates one way you can implement Driver Routing and Navigation. For ease of explanation, we present the frontend implementation first. That said, you can start implementation either by integrating the SDKs into your driver app first, or by integrating Fleet Engine with your backend for task and vehicle creation.

  1. Integrate the Driver SDK into your driver app. The Driver SDK sends real-time location signals to the Fleet Engine service, which is required for Shipment Tracking and Fleet Tracking capabilities. When using the Trusted Driver model on your managed devices, the Driver SDK can also allow your drivers to create or modify their tasks and route plans. The Driver SDK wraps the Navigation SDK. For details, see the Driver SDK user guides for Shipment Tracking (Android, iOS) and Fleet Performance (Android, iOS).
  2. Implement features of the Navigation SDK into your driver app. The Navigation SDK is a library responsible for providing customized navigation capabilities to your drivers, such as turn-by-turn instructions, customized routes, and customized map elements. For full developer documentation, see Navigation with Google Maps.
  3. Manage tasks and vehicle state with Fleet Engine. Fleet Engine is the Last Mile Fleet Solution backend service that handles the interaction between the Driver SDK and your own backend service. Your backend service can communicate with the Fleet Engine by making either REST or gRPC calls. For details, see the Fleet Engine user guides for Shipment Tracking and Fleet Performance.

Route Overview API

Sample code for Last Mile Fleet Solution