After losing on its joint bid for Nokia’s mapping unit, ride-hailing transportation service Uber has moved on and started developing its own location, navigation, and mapping services.
- Uber added TomTom to the mix of sources for its driver’s app
- TomTom is a Dutch mapping company that has previously worked with Apple
- Financial details of the deal are yet to be revealed
According to an Uber spokesperson, the company has partnered with TomTom, a Dutch mapping startup, for data that Uber can use in the navigation of its drivers. More specifically, the deal means that Uber will use TomTom’s traffic data and maps for drivers, and not Uber passengers.
The joint announcement of the deal describes it as spanning over several years and focusing on some 300 cities. Neither of the companies is disclosing the financial details of the collaboration. The sole statement of Charles Cautley, managing director of Maps & Licensing at TomTom, is that the mapping firm is “excited to provide Uber with our best-in-class location data.”
On the other side of the deal, Matt Wyndowe, chief of product partnerships at Uber, said that working with TomTom – a “leader in the mapping and navigation space” – is a thrilling prospective. The deal will make sure that Uber stays on top of the ride-hailing business with TomTom’s mapping and traffic data.
As confirmed by Uber itself, TomTom is not to replace Google Maps, nor any other services currently used by Uber. The new mapping unit will be providing data for the driving app alone, adding to the mix of sources that help drivers find their way in traffic. Microsoft’s Bing mapping assets – recently acquired – and startup deCarta are two other sources, in addition to Uber’s own mapping services.
Uber’s move to improve its navigational package for drivers comes at a time of great competition – the California-based company is definitely not the only one in the market. Uber’s rivals in app-based on-demand transportation services are more focused on local markets, but they’re a threat nevertheless.
A more accurate service with the most solid location information is also a plus for drivers who work on contract in their own cars, and it might make the difference in deciding which service to drive for. Besides powering its own range of GPS-navigation hardware, TomTom also works with third parties, such as Apple’s Maps after Google got ditched in favor of a private in-house service.
Image Source: TomTom