Well known public taxi hailing service Uber uses Google Maps application extensively. However, it seems that it is trying to create an in-house mapping service. According to Financial Times, it is investing $500 million in creating its very own worldwide map which will be an important step towards the fructification of autonomous cars.
The Daily adds that Uber is pouring Half Billion Dollars into the ambitious project which will enable it to create its customized maps. The company spokesman said that the present Google Maps are excellent, but it does not provide finer details like traffic patterns or convenient pick-up points. The latest endeavor will help the company produce its very own maps with all the relevant details which will be useful for its trade.
Google Maps are excellent for the present level Uber operations but will be far from adequate for its plans. The company has started earnestly on autonomous vehicles which will rely very heavily on precise and up-to-date maps having all the relevant details. As a precursor to this ambitious venture the company has roped in former Google Maps employees such as McClendon and has also acquired mapping companies such as TomTom and DigitalGlobe.
Bloomberg has reported that the hail taxi service provider has started its mapping efforts on a big scale in Mexico and it seems to be the first step in the larger comprehensive mapping project. However, it needs to be seen how much successful it will be in this venture because of the very fact that Google has almost a decade-long head start in the mapping business.
Uber primarily runs on the Google Maps and is important in the process of picking up passengers by its drivers and navigating them to their destination. Interestingly Google was the earliest investor in Uber and an original mapping effort will very beneficial for selecting better drop-off points or routes.
Brian McClendon, Uber’s map guru, feels that Google Maps is essential for the Taxi service provider’s existence, and he is happy to be a part of the mapping effort, first on Google Maps and now the mapping effort by Uber. Having a detailed and all-encompassing map is paramount for the safety and reliability of any taxi services. It will become even more crucial with the advent of autonomous and independent taxi services.
It is reported that Uber will be testing its autonomous car testing with its latest maps on the roads in Pittsburg.