A new street-mapping vehicle with a 360-degree camera on the roof has recently been spotted on the roads of Kentucky, according to BuzzFeed. Forget Google and Apple; it’s actually the work of Uber, which acquired Microsoft’s deCarte mapping technology in June and hired 100 Bing engineers to carry out the project.
The controversial ride-sharing service apparently wants to develop more accurate maps. For now, however, the images captured won’t replace the app’s existing maps, which combine Google Maps with a proprietary routing algorithm.
The goal of Uber is to help drivers avoid tricky intersections or streets that are frequently congested. In the longer term, this data will become extremely precious for autonomous driving. In fact, self-driving Uber cars are currently being developed near the Advanced Technology Centers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and near the University of Arizona.