Google is reportedly planning to rival Uber with its own smart taxi-hailing service.
Uber has experienced a meteoric rise in recent years, and has benefitted from generous investment from a number of high profile companies. One of those, Google, is now looking to provide a rival service.
That’s the claim being made by Bloomberg. Apparently, not only is Google working on its own ride-hailing service, but it could well incorporate the company’s driverless car efforts too.
The report claims that Google’s chief legal advisor David Drummond has informed the Uber board, upon which he himself sits, of Google’s plans. Uber executives have even been shown screenshots of a potential Google ride-sharing app currently in use by Google employees.
Google’s pioneering work in driverless car technology and its intentions to make it mainstream are well known, of course. However, this latest move appears to mark a definite transition between theoretical work and commercial application – which brings it into direct competition with one of its major partners. Awkward.
Of course, this turf invasion isn’t a one way thing. Uber recently announced that it would be investing in driverless car technology, teaming up with Carnegie Mellon University on a research facility to that end.
If Uber’s discomfort at having to contend with Google weren’t enough, there’s also the fact that the Uber service is heavily reliant on Google Maps to operate.