Uber announced today that it would expand the mapping software implemented in Toronto in August will expand to other Ontario cities soon.
Starting Monday, the ride-hailing company will dispatch dozens of mapping vehicles across the GTA as it begins to pinpoint the best pickup and dropoff areas. This way, Uber can begin the process of developing its own maps of the area. Gupta told the Toronto Star that an estimated 65 vehicles will roam the GTA for several weeks collecting this data.
According to a post by Manik Gupta, the Head of Product and Maps at Uber, the company wouldn’t exist if digital mapping hadn’t existed first. However, while existing maps were once sufficient, they no longer provide the detail Uber needs.
“Existing maps are a good starting point, but some information isn’t that relevant to Uber, like ocean topography. There are other things we need to know a lot more about, like traffic patterns and precise pickup and dropoff locations. Moreover, we need to be able to provide a seamless experience in parts of the world where there aren’t detailed maps — or street signs,” said Gupta, who was the head of Google Maps for over a decade.
Uber put mapping cars on the road in the United States last year and expanded the service to Toronto on August 20. Now, the company is poised to do the same for other Ontario cities in the near future.
While little information has been provided regarding which cities will get the upgrade and when this will take place, it’s certainly something to look forward to for Ontario’s Uber drivers.