Since Uber's appearance into the ride share/transportation sector with an app available on smartphones that consumers could use to request ride pickups, Uber has been using Google's Maps system to power the experience. That may well soon change as Uber announced today that it has purchased part of Bing's mapping technology as well as brought on 100 employees (data-collection engineers) from Microsoft. With this new technology under their belt, and a team of dedicated and talented engineers on hand who have been working with the system, Uber may be preparing to work more on producing their own mapping technology for use with their service in the future.
As stated above, Uber currently uses Google Maps technology to power the app, and Google even has a stake in Uber, but things may change for both companies if Uber decides to stop relying on Google Maps and focus more on developing their own map system. For Uber though, this likely isn't just about being able to power their ride share app/service with their own product. Uber has a number of other businesses in which it's trying to break into which could benefit from having an in-house developed map system to work off of, including a logistics service and a delivery service for groceries and other food, as well as their carpool service called UberPool.
No exact details about the terms of the deal have been made public by either company, but the transaction between the two has been confirmed. Although Microsoft is letting go of the image collection portion of their Bing tech, Bing Search will remain a vital part of Microsoft. It isn't a complete surprise to learn that Uber is interested in producing its own mapping service, since they were reported to be making attempts at buying HERE maps from Nokia with a bid of roughly $3 Billion sometime around the beginning of last month. If Uber wasn't capable of getting its hands on Nokia's mapping technology, it would have to look elsewhere to acquire what it was looking for. It would seem that Uber has found that in Microsoft's Bing. How soon we'll begin to see the fruits of Uber's new purchase is still up in the air, but Uber will likely want to get things off the ground sooner than later.