Ex-Uber Map Execs Develop Routing Service for Self-Driving Cars

Three recently departed Uber managers have started a mapping company to help ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft introduce autonomous vehicles to the public, according to two people briefed about it.

The startup, which is called rideOS, will focus on something few others are focused on: determining whether an autonomous vehicle is able to drive a certain route that’s been requested by a rider. And if the vehicle can’t fulfill the request, the system would dispatch a human-driven car to handle the ride.

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Some companies that are working on both self-driving cars and ride-sharing services, such as Uber and Waymo, are also developing mapping technology in-house in order to power those services. It remains to be seen whether maps-focused startups in this realm can get many large customers in the near term. In order to develop good mapping tech, the startups need customers to share data collected by cameras and other sensors on the self-driving car prototypes. Still, these startups will always remain acquisition targets for companies that are looking for maps-related talent.

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