Having accurate maps is something that’s very important to Uber. Last year, the company announced that it plans on investing $500 million into mapping the planet, which will allow it to offer better pickups and drop-offs as well as set the stage for its fleet of autonomous vehicles.
Uber already has mapping cars on the road in a few different countries including the United States, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Australia, and the UK. Recently, the company announced that it has launched its mapping cars in Singapore as well. This means that it currently has mapping cars on five different continents.
Uber has equipped vehicles used by their driver-partners with its mapping devices, which will allow the company to more easily collect mapping data. This means that the company won’t be adding any additional vehicles on Singapore’s roads. Uber stated that it takes privacy very seriously and that its doesn’t plan on keeping any imagery at or around your initial pick-up or final drop-off locations. The imagery and data that it will keep won’t be available to the public.
Based on the large investment and its efforts to map the world, it is clear that Uber has big plans for the future, especially when it comes to self-driving cars. The company already started testing its autonomous cars in San Francisco last year but quickly ran into problems with the state’s DMV. It was forced to stop the self-driving tests in California and therefore decided to continue them in Arizona.
Uber’s self-driving cars then made their way back to the Bay Area a few weeks ago but this time with humans behind the wheel. Just like in Singapore, Uber is also mapping the streets of San Francisco in hopes of improving its service and preparing data that will eventually help it launch its autonomous vehicles in the city.