Uber is deploying mapping cars in Asia to enhance its service in the region. The cab aggregator has today announced it has begun mapping in Singapore today. In its blog post, Uber says,
Feedback from riders and driver-partners in Singapore has also been a key motivation for us to improve mapping.
It further adds it has done so to garner information like traffic pattern, precise pick-up, and drop-off locations. This would enable the company to provide a seamless experience to both, the passengers and the drivers.
Formerly, Uber had employed their mapping vehicles in U.S, U.K, Australia, Mexico, Canada and South Africa. It had hired two executives from Google’s Maps employees, Brian McClendon and Manik Gupta and took over a maps-focused startup, DeCarta, in 2015.
They have equipped some taxis with their mapping devices in Singapore. They will be assembling the required data but will not be retaining any imagery at or around your initial pick-up or final drop-off locations. Uber explains,
Existing maps are a good starting point, but some information isn’t that relevant to Uber, like ocean topography.
It also states,
We need to be able to provide a seamless experience in parts of the world where there aren’t detailed maps — or street signs. So, we’re listening, responding, and investing to improve.
It is not known which other countries of Asia Uber will expand this service to but the company has been keenly focusing on India where it competes with Ola and in Southeast Asia where Grab gives it a tough competition. Grab had secured $750 million from Softbank to further up its ante in the region.
After Uber sold its business of China to Didi Chuxing, it has increased its focus in SEA and reports that it is profitable in the region. It introduced UberEats in Singapore and recently in Thailand, and plans to unveil more features in the near future.