Lyft, Uber’s fiercest rival in the United States, is bulking up its mapping efforts with the addition of Luv Vincent to their team. He is a former Google executive, who pioneered the Street View technology, which lets you view panoramic photos of areas across the world. In general, he will now be responsible for leading the mapping and marketplace operations of the company.
After a twelve year long stint at Google, Luc Vincent is joining Lyft as their new Vice President of Engineering. He can be seen as one of the many engineers who’ve switched to the world of ride-hailing to further work on improving mapping techniques– a must have for such apps.
He is now taking on the responsibility of improving the company’s real-time mapping and navigation capabilities. This will enable driver as well as users to gain access to precise locations and better understand pick up or drop locations. It also includes improvements in matching and pricing methods as well.
Talking about his appointment, Vincent says that his top priority would be to further “rethink” transportation at a ride-hailing giant of Lyft’s scale. He will be reporting to Lyft’s VP of Engineering, Peter Morelli, and Chief Technology Officer, Chris Lambert to expedite the growth of their engineering team. Adding to the same, he says,
People think Lyft’s mission is to just be a more efficient taxi company. But it’s really about rethinking transportation, rethinking how we move people and interact with the environment of the car.
I think they can perceive the problems, they’re going very fast, they’re going after a giant market, and they can really make a difference in the world. So that’s why I decided to make a move.
But, that’s not all. Vincent not only plans to use his experience to improve Lyft’s mapping techniques but also expedite its self-driving tech efforts as well. High-definition maps are one of the prominent aspects of autonomous vehicles and fit perfectly with the ride-hailing giant’s vision of most rides taking place in self-driving cars by 2021.
This development for Lyft comes at an important time, especially when Uber is facing backlash for being a prominent supporter of Trump’s activities. Also, this will enable the company to expand its operations from the current 40 cities in the U.S to more, so as to come at par with Uber. The company currently does not track the location of its user in the background when the application is not active (Uber does so), but Vincent thinks that the same might change if it improves mapping.
The said executive appointment might not seem as a prominent one as compared to Uber, which has roped in numerous engineers from the Mountain View-based tech giant. Also, Uber has recently invested close to $500 million into bulking up their mapping services and building a map of the entire world. It has employed its camera and sensor mounted vehicles to circle around streets to capture the said data.