Ola on Tuesday announced the acquisition of GeoSpoc, a six-year-old Pune-based geospatial company. Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO of Ola, said the founder of GeoSpoc, Dhruva Rajan, and his team of geospatial scientists and engineers, would be joining Ola to develop technologies that would make mobility universally accessible, sustainable, personalised and convenient, across shared and personal vehicles. With GeoSpoc they would look at building the next generation of location technology for the world, right here from India, he added.
GeoSpoc offers geospatial platforms, earth monitoring and remote sensing, aerial data processing and management and satellite image analytics. The company has a presence in India, the US and UK and serves industry verticals spanning technology, retail, banking and insurance for major Indian and global companies. The size of the deal was not disclosed.
“New Mobility will see profound changes in the way people move. New vehicle form factors and modes of transport will transform our day to day lives. These fundamental changes will require investments in next-gen technologies, including location and geospatial technologies and advancements in satellite imagery conversion into real-time maps as well as 3D, HD and vector maps,” Aggarwal said on the GeoSpoc acquisition.
Ola had the data and deep understanding of consumer movements as well as a massive network of 2,3 and 4 wheelers that provide unprecedented geospatial details. The company can layer this data with new sources such as satellite imagery and visual feeds from our network on-ground to build ‘Living Maps’, Aggarwal said. As shared and personal mobility penetrate deeper to cover 50-100% of India’s population in the coming years, maps will need to improve in a variety of ways, he said. According to Aggarwal accurate and rich maps with high user context was needed beyond the first 100 million users.
Multi-modal transportation options would need geospatial intelligence to understand the unique benefits of each option and provide suggestions accordingly. For these maps would need to consider the three-dimensional view of the world as aerial mobility models such as drones become more mainstream. Incorporating near real-time satellite imagery provided a better understanding of road quality, as well as improvements such as avoiding poorly lit streets at night for safety. Similarly, autonomous driving would need HD and 3D maps, which will offer superior visualisation, dynamic real-time updates based on road, traffic and weather conditions. Enhanced geospatial services would also improve urban planning including road networks, better public transportation and pre-empt congestion spots.
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