The internet behemoth is eying a ride-hailing service to take on Uber and other companies according to a Bloomberg report. The report states Google “most likely” has been working on the service in conjunction with its self-driving car project. According to Bloomberg, another piece of info pointing to this is Google’s chief legal officer David Drummond notifying Uber about the possibility of Google creating a ride-hailing service.
Drummond is part of Uber’s board.
At the same time, Uber has announced a strategic partnership with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). Here’s a piece of the announcement.
The partnership will provide a forum for Uber technology leaders to work closely with CMU faculty, staff, and students — both on campus and at the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) — to do research and development, primarily in the areas of mapping and vehicle safety and autonomy technology.
As part of the partnership, the Uber Advanced Technologies Center will be built in Pittsburgh, near the CMU campus.
Does It Really Mean Anything?
While the news above makes for an interesting story, it’s hard to tell how serious either company will pursue these new ventures. Google is still a massive ad company at the end of the day. They have ventures all over the place, but none of them have amounted to anything major (released publicly and significantly impact company’s bottom line), yet.
Plus, Google is an investor in Uber.
Uber’s announcement of looking into ‘autonomy technology’ sounds good, but it would take years for Uber to come up with self-driving cars that are regularly used on U.S. roads.
Hey, I’m all for it. The quicker cars drive themselves, the better. Anyone who commutes on interstates near metro centers knows how crazy people drive.
Tell me what you think of the news from Google and Uber. You think Google will launch an Uber competitor anytime soon?