US: According to a news report, taxi provider Uber is planning to spend $500 million to develop its own mapping technology. The budget also includes sending vehicles through the U.S. and Mexico (one of Uber’s largest Latin American markets) to begin mapping the topography.
According to Uber, creating its own mapping system would give reliable information to the company with regards to situations like traffic jams or optimal pickup locations for passengers.
When Uber recently signed a multiyear partnership with DigitalGlobe—a company whose powerful satellites have the ability to discern a one-by-one-foot item on the earth—to help the firm with high-resolution imagery, it was a clear signal that Uber was serious about its mapping intentions.
Since Uber was founded in the spring of 2009, the world of transportation has never been the same. For the past seven years, the wildly successful company has largely been reliant on another big name in technology, Google.
Using Google’s mapping system, Uber has been able to go from a start-up to a multibillion-dollar giant. And Uber’s growth doesn’t appear to be slowing anytime soon. Yet with the rise of autonomous vehicles and Google’s potential to enter the transportation industry, the two companies could soon become rivals.
That’s why Uber recently announced plans to create its own mapping system, one that would limit its dependence on Google technology. According to the company’s website, “Existing maps are a good starting point, but some information isn’t that relevant to Uber, like ocean topography.”