Free-drive mode, also referred to as passive navigation, is a unique Mapbox Navigation SDK feature that allows drivers to take advantage of some navigation features without selecting a route and following turn-by-turn instructions to a set destination.

You can center the map on the driver’s current location as their location changes and proactively provide drivers with relevant information about nearby places and roads including traffic, incidents, and points of interest. For example, free-drive mode might be helpful to drivers who are in areas they are familiar with and do not need turn-by-turn instructions, but may want to avoid congested roads.

The Navigation SDK goes into an internal free-drive state when a trip session is started and no route has been selected. At the same time, the Navigation SDK will start downloading and caching a road graph. An up-to-date road graph is necessary to effectively enhance the device location, match it to a road-based on raw GPS signal, and power other features of the Navigation SDK.

You'll begin receiving user device location updates via the LocationObserver.

You'll also be able to take advantage of electronic horizon and learn about road objects around the device's location, you can read more about it in the Electronic horizon guide.

Build a free-drive UI

The Navigation SDK provides several pre-built UI components that you can use to build a complete user interface for a your application in free-drive mode. Drop components into your application using their default configuration or customize the components' behavior and appearance to create a completely unique experience for your users.

  • Maps: Use the Mapbox Maps SDK for Android with the Mapbox Navigation SDK for Android to display a map in your application and enhance the navigation experience. Read the Maps guide.
  • Navigation camera: Learn how to use Navigation SDK to frame the current user location puck and the route on the Mapbox map. Read the Navigation camera guide.
  • Speed limit: Learn how to how to use the Navigation SDK for Android's speed limit UI component. Read the Speed limit guide.
  • Device notifications: Mapbox documentation about how notifications work in the Mapbox Navigation SDK for Android. Read the Device notifications guide.