Uber using Google Street View-style mapping vehicles to improve its ride-hailing service

By midian182
Oct 20, 2015
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  1. Uber has rolled out a fleet of camera vehicles, which bear a striking resemblance to Google’s street view cars, in order to improve its maps, driving routes and ETA’s. The cars have already been spotted in Florence, Kentucky, and are now making their way through the Midwest.

    The systems used in the vehicles were first designed by Microsoft; this isn’t surprising news, as Uber purchased a portion of Microsoft’s Bing Maps technology in June. The deal involved the ride-sharing company acquiring a number of ‘assets’ from Microsoft, along with about 100 employees. It seems some of those assets included a few dozen camera cars.

    “This is an Uber mapping car. In June, Uber acquired a subset of the Microsoft Maps business and imagery collection technology was included as part of that acquisition. These cars have been on the road for the last several months collecting imagery that will help improve mapping features that are so integral to the Uber experience,” an Uber spokesperson told TechCrunch.

    It was reported in May that Uber was spotted testing one of its "advanced" vehicles on the streets of Pittsburgh. This car also sported image collection technology, but the company says that was for its separate autonomous vehicle project.

    Uber has been successfully building up its own map technology with the Bing deal and its March acquisition of mapping startup deCarta. At one point the company looked set to buy Nokia’s Here mapping division, but later dropped out.

    At the moment the Uber app uses Google and Apple maps in combination with its own software. Having its own mapping technology could give Uber's drivers better route directions and help improve the accuracy of ETAs given to customers.

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  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,335   +1,937

    If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. I reckon in a few years from now, taxi's as we know them will be a rare site on the roads.
  3. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,370   +2,162

    And a glorious day it will be.
  4. Here is the best map service around. They shouldn't have folded, people begged for lane choice option, street view style, and speed cam alert. That would've top 'em beside Gmaps for sure.
  5. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,335   +1,937

    You're damn right. Uber's take over in SA can't come quick enough. Those Goddamned minibus taxi's are a menace on the roads and are responsible for tens of thousands of deaths on the roads annually. Unfortunately those minibus taxi operators won't go down without a fierce, bloody struggle first. It'll be years before we see their demise.

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