Uber seems to be seeking a way to reduce its reliance on Google Maps. According to a report in The New York Times, the popular taxi-booking app maker has submitted a bid to buy Nokia’s HERE mapping service.
Uber, which is one of the most valuable technology start-ups in the world right now, depends heavily on Google Maps, because it incorporates maps at the heart of its service. Although the service also uses mapping data from Apple and the information collected by cabs operating under it, a significant portion of the maps as well as traffic information and navigation details being used in Uber are from Google.
At a time, when Uber is aiming to grow from just a cab-booking service to more of a logistics company, Nokia’s mapping service could play a big role in Uber’s ambitions. According to NYT, HERE holds more than an 80 percent of the global market share for built-in car navigation systems, and the service spends hundreds of millions of dollars every year to update its maps.
Uber has offered $3 billion for HERE, but there are competing bids from a consortium of German automakers, including BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz as well as an unnamed private equity firm. Nokia ‘s expected to announce details of the sale by the end of May.