Uber is embarking on a global mapping project to offer its drivers more useful data on pick-up locations and traffic patterns. Currently the taxi-booking app relies on Google’s mapping technology to display local maps and mark pick-up locations.
A senior Uber executive says that information that is more relevant can be drawn if it produces its own road maps. The firm is said to be investing $500m (£380m) in the mapping project.
According to McClendon, who up until 2014 was vice-president of Google Maps, “Existing maps are a good starting point, but some information isn’t that relevant to Uber, like ocean topography. Writing on Uber’s website, Mr McClendon said “There are other things we need to know a lot more about, like traffic patterns and precise pick-up and drop-off locations.”
Last year, Uber began scanning roads across the US using mapping cars, which can track the geographical position of each street and motorway.
The firm said that these vehicles would be operational in Mexico this summer, as part of a wider plan to use them in big cities around the world.