Uber has just entered into a partnership with DigitalGlobe, an American company specializing in space imagery. This agreement should allow the VTC platform to use satellite images to locate drivers and customers more precisely. The financial terms of the transaction were not communicated by the two companies.
Founded in 1992 by Walter S. Scott, DigitalGlobe provides high resolution aerial imagery. Among its clients, the company based in Longmont (Colorado) includes Google and Apple. In 2013, DigitalGlobe consolidated its position in the space imagery sector with the acquisition of GeoEye, one of its main competitors in this market.
One more step towards the autonomous car
By partnering with Uber, DigitalGlobe claims, in a blog post, that high-resolution satellite images will allow “improve the Uber experience for customers and drivers around the world“. The American company also believes that its technology will help the VTC platform to “identify and improve pick-up and drop-off locations“.
To hone in on the mapping industry, Uber hired several engineers from Google, including Brian McClendon, the former boss of Google Maps, and Carnegie Mellon University, specifies the American site The Verge. Beyond these efforts to better locate drivers and customers, the development of Uber’s mapping department will above all be decisive for the commissioning of its driverless car. Presented last May, the autonomous car of the Californian start-up needs constant information to map the environment in great detail.