Microsoft has announced that it will no longer collect its own mapping data and has found Uber as a suitable buyer for its assets, including a data center, cameras, intellectual property, and roughly 100 engineers.
The move is in line with Uber’s increasing efforts to build its own mapping service – the company was believed to be one among the bidders for Nokia’s Here Mapping division.
Uber clearly wants to rely less on its investor Google’s mapping service and build its own. Right now the two companies are in competition not just on the mapping front, but also when it comes to self-driving car research.
Microsoft’s street level image collection was robust but lacked scale to take on search giant Google. This is where Uber could come to the rescue, as it has the advantage of running thousands of cars on streets every day.
The terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed but does show what Uber and Microsoft are planning. It isn’t too hard to foresee a licensing deal between the two companies for sharing of imaging data.