This is a company that basically ran over every government from the smallest local town, to the largest governments in the world on their way to being the largest taxi company that owns no taxis. Of course CEOs change and so do philosophies so this is probably a natural extension toward them trying to find a business model that works.
Uber is one of those companies that has fascinated me with mapping and spatial technology. Back in 2015, Uber bought deCarta
and while I was right in thinking they wouldn’t leave Google and Apple maps, the reason why was incorrect. It is never about what consumers like, it is what makes best monetary sense. Uber has released so much open source tooling to use with visualization and they’ve really done a great job forcing companies to look at how cars fit within cities (while also causing the problem in the first place).
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here though. This is 4 wheelchair accessible vans in a county outside of San Francisco, but it appears to be a start. It appears that Uber is going to start selling their services to governments and eventually companies to try and get people using ride sharing everywhere. If this happens, Uber will obviously benefit. It begs the question though, they probably are going to look at monetizing all that great spatial technology they created and who knows what it might mean to the GIS space in the next few years. We’ll see but I’m not betting against Uber GIS.