Domination in the taxi business is one of Uber’s main goals, but the delivery business another avenue for success. A third market currently being explored is mapping, with the announcement Uber will be acquiring Bing’s mapping assets.
Microsoft is selling some of its Bing assets to the taxi service, which includes 100 employees and some of the technologies and image licenses from Microsoft.
This comes a few weeks after Uber partnered with Chinese search giant Baidu to acquire Nokia’s Here Maps. Having both the assets from Microsoft alongside Here Maps would put Uber in a powerful position to compete in the mapping industry.
Previously, we suspected Uber’s intentions to acquire Here Maps were purely to remove the licensing agreements with Google, but it might be preparing to launch its own mapping client.
Here Maps is already an established platform, all Uber needs to do is rebrand and resell.
Baidu will receive free mapping services globally by co-acquiring Here Maps, which it uses to power Baidu Maps outside of Mainland China. Uber will also use the mapping service to power the app, using the 100 new employees to add and maintain the service.
Having a mapping wing would help Uber in the business market, where it is attempting to gain ground through merchant deliveries. It would also pit Uber against its growing rival, Google, in more than one market.
Uber is already working on an autonomous car, and rumours say Google is working on a taxi service. What is odd about this rivalry is Uber’s success gives more money to Google, who was an early investor in the company.