Uber is mapping streets to improve their routes

Uber cars are mapping different streets throughout the Midwest to improve routing and estimated arrival times.

An Uber driver took a photo of a car driving around Florence, Kentucky with imaging technology attached to it this morning, BuzzFeed originally reported Monday. These cars can be seen throughout the midwest with the same technology, which is being used to improve Uber’s routing system in their app.

Uber cars have been spotted using mapping systems before, notably in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where the company is developing self-driving cars. Uber has been building their self-driving car in Pittsburgh using engineering talent from the robotics center at Carnegie Mellon University, and the company is leasing a 53,000-square-foot facility to carry out their work.

But the ones seen in Pennsylvania are assisting Uber’s development of self-driving cars, rather than their app.

“This vehicle is part of our early research efforts regarding mapping, safety and autonomy systems,” an Uber spokesperson told The Verge at the time a mapping car was seen in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The Uber car seen mapping streets in Kentucky are using mapping technology developed by Bing. Uber acquired Bing’s mapping assets and 100 of their employees in June. Prior to the acquisition, cars were using the same technology for mapping purposes in the midwest.

This is not the first time Uber has deployed cars to take images of different streets. In February, an Uber research car — with the logo Uber Advanced Technologies Center — was seen driving around Pittsburgh.

Uber also acquired a mapping start-up, deCarte, in March, showing that Uber is bent on improving their mapping system.

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