Uber acquires mapping service deCarta
A combination of negative press and emerging competitors has beset ride service Uber with challenges over the past year. One of the key promises a personal transit company makes to customers is the efficiency of driving routes, and this week Uber announced that it has acquired deCarta, a digital mapping service. With greater exactitude in routes, distances and estimated ride times, Uber can enhance its service as rivals like Lyft make a bid for market shares.
"A lot of the functionality that makes the Uber app so reliable, affordable and seamless is based on mapping technologies," Uber said in a statement. "With the acquisition of deCarta, we will continue to fine-tune our products and services that rely on maps – for example UberPOOL, the way we compute ETAs, and others – and make the Uber experience even better for our users."
"Some outlets have reported that Google hopes to enter the ride service market, and with its considerable resources and industry clout, it would emerge as a major player. For customers, this healthy competition within the market could help reduce prices. One of the key complaints lodged against Uber and similar services is the spike in pricing that occurs at peak hours, which some describe as gouging.
Currently, Uber relies on Google for its mapping technology, as Google Maps leads the industry in ease and precision for directions. By making efforts to sever that relationship through acquisition strategy, Uber could become more independent if it faces a challenge from the tech giant. deCarta focuses on turn-by-turn navigation and other functionalities that are critical to providing quality service to passengers. Uber has also planned the rollout of its ride-share program, which could bring down costs and maximize efficiency for passengers.