Uber is planning to invest $500m in a global mapping project as it plans to dissociate itself from Google Maps and pave the way for driverless cars
The company unveiled mapping cars in America to record and take images for maps. The company is also working on other technologies that will revamp its services and reduce its over-reliance on its software and hardware tech; smartphones and cars which other companies are able to copy paste.
By developing its own maps, Uber will reduce its reliance on Google despite the fact that Google was Uber’s earlier investor.
According to Financial Times, Uber hired one of the world’s leading digital mapping experts, Brian McClendon, who previously ran Google Maps and helped create Google Earth.
“Accurate maps are at the heart of our service and backbone of our business. The ongoing need for maps tailored to the Uber experience is why we’re doubling down on our investment in mapping.
“Over the past decade mapping innovation has disrupted industries and changed daily life in ways I couldn’t have imagined when I started. That progress will only accelerate in the coming years, especially with technologies like self-driving cars. I remain excited by the prospect of how maps can put the world at our fingertips, improve everyday life, impact billions of people and enable innovations we can’t even imagine today.” Brian McClendon wrote.
The company is working on a mapping system that will improve Uber experience, “ like ideal pick-up and drop-off points and the best routes for riders and drivers. Although our imagery collection efforts are focused now in Mexico, we plan to expand these efforts to other countries soon.” He added.
The car-hailing company has developed its business in more than 60 countries and provided passengers with more than 2bn rides. Although, Uber faced massive backlash from other taxi drivers who claim that Uber’s pricing model threatens their business, making them unable to compete and could render them jobless.