- Uber plans to invest $500 million in its own mapping solution, according to The Financial Times.
- Creating its own maps will help the company reduce its reliance on Google Maps, which the Uber app uses in most of the world.
- The new initiative will also allow the company to build maps that provide the level of detail needed for the eventual use of autonomous cars.
Relying on existing maps has been "a good starting point” for Uber," said Brian McClendon, head of Uber’s mapping efforts in a company blog. But moving into the future means "doubling down on our investment in mapping."
Uber may also want to distance itself from Google because the two companies could eventually compete in the autonomous vehicle space. Google has its own autonomous vehicle intiative underway, and a long head-start over Uber when in comes to mapping.
Other companies have begun building out their own infrastructure and tools rather than relying on third parties to provide services. For example, Dropbox announced last month that it was saving money and allowing for more flexibility by leveraging its own home-built infrastructure rather than relying on external providers. The company announced in March that it had transferred about 90% of its IT infrastructure away from Amazon Web Services to rely on its own infrastructure.