Google vs Uber? Company Informs Ridesharing Service to Expect Competition

Feb 03, 2015 08:35 AM EST | Matt Mercuro


Google is creating its own ride-hailing service that would allow the company to compete with services like Uber and Lyft, according to Bloomberg, citing a "person close to Uber's board."

This is noteworthy because Google is one of Uber's biggest investors.

Google's Chief Legal Officer and Uber board member, David Drummond, has supposedly told Uber of Google's plans so that they're not blindsided by the news, according to the Bloomberg report.

The source told the publication that Uber's board is mulling over the idea whether to ask Drummond to resign or not.

So far Google and Uber have both decided not to comment publicly regarding the news. If the report is true, it would mean Google is preparing to enter yet another market to further its dominance around the globe.

Uber executives have been shown screenshots of Google's ridesharing app, which is already being used by Google's employees, according to Bloomberg.

If Google does decide to release a ride-hailing app, it could affect Uber's reliance on the search giant. The cab's service's smartphone applications for drivers and users are based on Google Maps.

Recently, Google confirmed that its driverless car technology was already in development as part of its Google X research lab, but it is two to five years away from being completely ready.

Uber is also working on its own self-driving vehicle technology, as part of a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University. The technology is being created at the Uber Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh.

Uber's partnership with Carnegie Mellon University was reached to provide "research and development, primarily in the areas of mapping and vehicle safety and autonomy technology," Uber said in its company blog.

Uber's CEO Travis Kalanick has publicly stated on multiple occasions that autonomous taxis are inevitable, as they would offer cheaper rides and a true alternative to vehicle ownership.

"The Uber experience is expensive because it's not just the car but the other dude in the car," he said at a technology conference in 2014, according to Automotive News. "When there's no other dude in the car, the cost [of taking an Uber] gets cheaper than owning a vehicle."

Stay tuned as more gets announced regarding Google entering the ridesharing app business.

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