According to a report published by the Financial Times, Uber is preparing to invest 500 million dollars in an ambitious global mapping project, a pivotal step to create a proprietary tailored platform as an alternative to Google Maps and to pave the way for driverless cars.
With this new investment and Brian McClendon’s hiring in 2015 (former lead developer of Google Maps and Google Earth), Uber will be able to create its own system in order to provide a more accurate level of what it Google Maps offers as far as roads are concerned, mainly on traffic patterns and potential reference points for picking up passengers.
The mapping project is essential for the California company’s future operations, especially for autonomous vehicles. However, this is a turning point that puts Uber directly at odds with Google, one of the first investors for the transport app, since both companies are working on developing such technology.
To this end, Uber has already begun to send cars equipped with software and cameras for collecting the necessary images for the creation of maps, first in the United States and then in Mexico, but soon after that, the undertaking will be carried out in other countries of the world as well, starting from those in the developing world, where Google Maps tends to be less precise.