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Uber Brings Worldwide Mapping Project To The Gold Coast

Uber has started to map Gold Coast roads as part of a wider project to reduce the company’s dependence on data from Google.

Existing Uber vehicles have been equipped with cameras to collect data on traffic patterns and safe locations to pick-up and drop-off customers. Uber Maps product head Manik Gupta, who previously worked for Google Maps as product director, has launched mapping projects in the US, Canada, Mexico, South Africa and the UK.

The company announced last year it plans to develop its own mapping data to improve customer experience, with reports suggesting the project would cost US$500 million. Since its launch, Uber has been heavily reliant on data provided by Google, with the two companies now appearing to move away from a close relationship that saw Google invest US$258 million in Uber in 2013.

Brisbane will be the next Australian location to be mapped, with other locations across the country expected to join the project in the coming months.

Customers will be notified if a camera-equipped car has been assigned to them through the app, and are free to cancel the ride if desired. Uber assures customers that imagery from pick-up and drop-off locations will not be stored.

“Several dozen” cars will begin collecting data on the Gold Coast from today, an Uber spokesperson told Mashable.

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