Uber 'to spend $500 million' on building its own mapping technology

Taxi app reportedly wants to reduce its reliance on Google Maps

Uber is getting ready to spend $500 million (379 million) on a global mapping scheme in order to reduce its dependence on Google, according to reports.

The taxi-hailing app announced the project to create its own mapping tech in a blog post last week by Brian McClendon, the former head of Google Maps Uber hired last year.

"Accurate maps are at the heart of our service and the backbone of our business," McClendon said. "Existing maps are a good starting point, but some information isn't that relevant to Uber, like ocean topography. There are other things we need to know a lot more about, like traffic patterns and precise pickup points."

Citing "a person familiar with the matter", the Financial Times said Uber will invest $500 million in the project and suggested this could also be a move to become more independent of Google, for two reasons.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

Firstly, while Google was an early investor in Uber, the two are increasingly competitors, particularly in the realm of self-driving cars. Secondly, Google has put up the fees for using its mapping service, so over the long term developing its own maps could work out cheaper for Uber.

This is not the first time Uber has invested in its own mapping technology either. In 2015, Uber snapped up an imagery collection team from Microsoft Bing and mapping specialists deCarta.

IT Pro contacted Uber for confirmation of the $500 million investment figure, however the company was unable to comment.

Featured Resources

How inkjet can transform your business

Get more out of your business by investing in the right printing technology

Download now

Journey to a modern workplace with Office 365: which tools and when?

A guide to how Office 365 builds a modern workplace

Download now

Modernise and transform your sales organisation

Learn how a modernised sales process can drive your business

Download now

Your guide to managing cloud transformation risk

Realise the benefits. Mitigate the risks

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/business/business-strategy/354764/uber-wework-cause-softbank-to-lose-99-of-quarterly-profit
Business strategy

Uber, WeWork cause SoftBank to lose 99% of quarterly profit

12 Feb 2020
Visit/strategy/27302/driverless-cars-news/page/0/4
Business strategy

Uber car involved in fatal crash had software flaws

6 Nov 2019
Visit/strategy/27302/driverless-cars-news
Business strategy

Uber car involved in fatal crash had software flaws

6 Nov 2019
Visit/strategy/27302/driverless-cars-news/page/0/3
Business strategy

Uber car involved in fatal crash had software flaws

6 Nov 2019

Most Popular

Visit/mobile/28299/how-to-use-chromecast-without-wi-fi
Mobile

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

5 Feb 2020
Visit/security/34616/the-top-ten-password-cracking-techniques-used-by-hackers
Security

The top ten password-cracking techniques used by hackers

10 Feb 2020
Visit/operating-systems/27717/how-to-fix-a-stuck-windows-10-update
operating systems

How to fix a stuck Windows 10 update

12 Feb 2020
Visit/operating-systems/microsoft-windows/354739/windows-7-bug-blocks-users-from-shutting-down-their-pcs
Microsoft Windows

Windows 7 bug blocks users from shutting down their PCs

10 Feb 2020