Google is planning a Uber-like taxi-hailing service and if and when that comes about, Uber would be none too pleased. For one, given Android’s global reach, it is just a matter of mounting the app on to smartphones for Google to gather users almost simultaneously with the roll-out of the service. Two, Uber and similar services use Google Maps, Apple’s mapping system along with systems developed in-house. So, if Uber will have to eventually compete with Google, it will probably have to look at perfecting its own mapping system—and in whatever time that takes, Google will be gaining ground.
Katie Benner, in her Bloomberg View News Roundup piece, offers some great insight into the Uber-Google face-off. She notes how the tech giant’s venture capital firm, Google Ventures, led investors to Uber with a $258 million investment. While it was speculated that Google would eventually look to acquire Uber, the valuation of the latter has shot up in a short time to such an extent that it has become impossible for Google to swallow—one of the reasons why it is looking to prop a competitor. At the same time, on the ‘wheels’ of Google’s driverless car, Uber, too, is looking to develop its own fleet of robot cars!