Uber, the company known for providing mobile ride-hailing services to anyone and everyone used to rely intensively on Google Maps for operations. However, things are about to change as Uber is deciding to devise its own mapping system. Even though Google has announced no intentions of entering in competition with Uber and the company itself has raked in enough revenue that relying on Google Maps’ data has not been a financial burden. However, it won’t be a surprise if the two businesses collide in the near future.
This is because the two companies have leaped in somewhat similar businesses which operate around providing cars with autonomy, and perhaps in the near future, cars that can potentially drive themselves. This fear of business collision has prompted Uber into altogether eliminating their reliance on Google Maps and design their own mapping service.
A blog post from Uber read something entirely different. The post stated that the existing maps were a good starting point for Uber. However data such as ocean topography and is irrelevant to Uber. Instead Uber needs to emphasize on data like traffic patterns, accurate pickup and drop-off locations. Further, the mapping service would be focused on providing a seamless experience in locations where detailed maps are unavailable and roads are devoid of traffic indicators.
The blog post further stated that the need for well-calibrated maps has increased over the years. In order to cope, the company has been making efforts that are similar to big companies like Apple and TomTom. Uber also mentioned that they have doubled their investment in mapping and the company has put mapping cars across US and Mexico.
According to a report from financial Times, Uber is investing a sum close to $500 million in order to devise its own mapping setup. The setup would include mapping vehicles which would be deployed in the United States and Mexico. This investment would allow Uber to provide data which is much more precise and relevant to the company’s requirements.
The news comes after Uber announced a partnership with Digital Globe which will provide with high-resolution imagery to help the company with their mapping efforts. It must be pointed out that Digital Globe has satellites that are powerful enough to distinguish a one-foot by one-foot item present on Earth. The partnership is definitely going to be an interesting one.