Two technology giants are going head to head on Australian roads with Uber launching a fleet of camera-equipped cars.
The initiative, led by former head of Google Maps Manik Gupta, aims to help Uber better predict traffic snarls, estimate travel time, and pinpoint safe parking locations.
In 2016 the company rolled out similar schemes in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Mexico as Google did not deliver enough information to make ride-sharing a smooth experience.
“We’re interested in improving maps and optimising the pick-up and drop-off experience for users,” Mr Gupta told The Daily Telegraph.
“Sometimes you call for an Uber and they don’t know where to come to. We want to make the pick-up perfect … it just comes to you and you know exactly where to go.”
Uber claims that footage captured by their fleet will not be used as Google Street View, but rather as a way to work out the best pick-up and drop-off locations for drivers and riders, including directions about which side of the road to stand on for a pick-up.
Uber will begin its Australian mapping project in Queensland, where Uber was legalised in September with plans to expand to nationwide in the future.