The American ride-hailing giant Uber is planning to ditch the services of Google Maps very soon. You ask why? Because as reports suggest the company is preparing to add $500 million into its own ambitious global mapping project.
The company is taking this measure to reduce — as stated above — its dependency on Google Maps and pave the way for its self-driving car project, reports Financial Times.
Currently, the ride-hailing service is powered by Google Maps and it fulfills the needs as it allows drivers to pick-up commuters and drive them to their destination. This mapping project will, however, help them improve the user experience by sourcing better locations points. And since they’ve mapped the countries on their own, they could also use machine learning to predict better routes in the future.
Uber has currently deployed a couple mapping vehicles across the United States and Mexico to record surroundings and gather images for maps. It further also adds that it will deploy more mapping vehicles to other countries very soon.
Uber’s ambitious mapping project is being led one of the world’s leading digital mapping experts, Brian McClendon. He is the man responsible for the development of what we currently know as Google Maps and Google Earth. In a blogpost, he talks about mapping Uber’s future, and adds that,
There are other things we need to know a lot more about, like traffic patterns and precise pickup and dropoff locations. Moreover, we need to be able to provide a seamless experience in parts of the world where there aren’t detailed maps — or street signs.
The ongoing need for maps tailored to the Uber experience is why we’re doubling down on our investment in mapping.
With the advent rise of autonomous technology and connected transport, every third company is now stepping foot into this segment. Google who is recognized as an early investor in Uber is now operating as its rival. Both tech giants of the Silicon Valley are now focusing on developing technologies for their self-driving vehicles.
Uber is currently reported to be testing its self-driving technology in Pittsburgh. The focus of the company is currently making sure the technology works as required and that its safe for anyone and everyone including pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers(as Google has faced its fair share of criticism for the same).
The timing of the ride-hailing service isn’t exactly the best when talking about mapping the world, because Google has been at it for decades. It is due to this constant effort to improve the mapping service has driven Google to achieve this much detail.
Will Uber be able to capture the same in a shorter span of time? Comment your thoughts down below.