Uber expands mapping cars to improve its road data

Uber has been working on increasing its mapping data, something that'll ultimately improve its service for riders. Part of that effort has involved deploying its own mapping cars — that is, vehicles featuring Uber's mapping devices for collecting important navigation and transportation data. Rather than using dedicated mapping cars, though, Uber has put this technology into some of its existing 'driver-partner' vehicles so that ordinary Uber rides gather important travel info.

According to Uber, it has put these mapping devices into regular Uber cars in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, and most recently, Singapore. The launch of the mapping technology in Singapore marks the company's first mapping efforts in Southeast Asia.

The devices ultimately exist to produce 'mapping innovation,' something Uber seems to be taking seriously, and for obvious reasons. Such mapping data is not only vital to the company's current ridesharing service, it'll also be vitally important to Uber's future self-driving auto fleet.

Given that the mapping devices are located in cars being used to pick up riders, it's not surprising that privacy concerns have been raised. Uber says that it takes 'the privacy of riders very seriously,' and that the devices won't keep any data from the rider's pickup location, nor any around it, as well as the drop-off location. As well, Uber says it doesn't currently have any plans to make its mapping imagery or related data public.

SOURCE: Uber Newsroom