Uber begins mapping Asia’s roads, starting from Singapore
An ambitious project by Uber now kicks off on Singapore.
Uber will begin mapping roads and streets soon in the continent, as it expands its large-scale mapping project to Asia.
Last year, Uber embarked on a $500 million effort to keep itself off the third-party data from — Google, obviously. The firm currently relies on a mix of map data from providers, including Google Maps, and its own.
In a blog post, Uber said that it is hoping to improve their underlying technology by refining how it handles traffic, and where drivers can pick up and drop off users. They also explained that third party map data often isn’t relevant to its needs as a ride-sharing app, since they include additional information such as oceanic topography.
The effort follows Uber’s mapping efforts in Canada, the U.S., Mexico, the U.K., South Africa and Australia, and is expected to take around two or three months for Singapore.
Like what Uber’s doing in Australia, driver vehicles will be mounted with devices to collect data about routes. It may also deploy mapping cameras on dedicated mapping vehicles to ensure that the city is covered.
Uber itself acquired a maps-focused startup in 2015, and hired two executives from Google Maps.
Still, its efforts to map Asia’s streets appear to be unmet by regional competitors, primarily Grab in Southeast Asia and Ola in India. The latter two doesn’t seem to have a same kind of project going, and still relies on Google’s Map Data.