US: The attempt to enhance its mapping assets, and increase its ratings in pick-up times, Uber has sent out a proposal for the Uber Map Improvement Group. Wipro, Cognizant and Accenture have entered the fray to bag a business process outsourcing contract from ride-hailing app Uber to improve its mapping and thereby the experience for its customers and drivers.
Uber is learnt to have told IT/BPO service providers that it would launch map improvement at scale beginning March and is looking to onboard 500 to 1,000 operators, running in two shifts, by the end of 2016 or early 2017, said sources familiar with the development.
These sources said the multi-year BPO contract is expected to be around $50 million (Rs 350 crore).An email sent to Uber did not elicit a response. Wipro said it does not comment on ongoing business pursuits while a Cognizant spokesperson said it doesn't comment on speculation in the marketplace.
It's not clear what precisely the new set of employees will do. Uber has been using Google Street View-like cars to take images of roads to more precisely determine driving routes and expected time of arrival. It is possible that the new employees will use this information, as also others that they come across on a daily basis, to improve the information flow to cab users and drivers.
Uber has previously committed $50 million, over the next five years, to its Hyderabad office, where it will not only have a tech centre of excellence, but also put in place a mapping team focused on improving the underlying map technology and image processing.