Google is in development of a taxi service to compete with Uber, according to a new report from Bloomberg. Uber has been under fire lately as a result of several factors, but that hasn’t affected the fact that it still serves thousands of people. The company was founded in 2009, and after its take-off, Google Ventures invested $258 million in August 2013. But the companies could now be splitting.
Bloomberg‘s report states that Google is planning to offer its own ride-hailing service to compete with Uber. A notable part of the situation is that it appears that Google will create the service in partnership with Google’s autonomous car program. This would allow Google to have a competitive edge in the market, particularly in neighborhoods. Autonomous cars give Google the ability to set up small fleets for specific neighborhoods, allowing for quick, low-cost trips. They also allow Google to cut the human driver out of the equation, which is both an extra expense and frequent complaint of current taxis.
Uber, however, is fighting back. The company just announced a collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University that has resulted in the creation of the Uber Advanced Technologies Center. The center will focus on R&D of new technologies. Examples of major projects include autonomous cars and enhanced vehicle safety.
With Uber beginning research into creating its own autonomous cars, it seems that Uber is looking to compete with Google on the self-driving car front. It could also be a clear sign of the gap between the two companies, signifying that Uber is planning to compete with Google in the future.
Another possible sign of the upcoming split came in the form of a Google Now announcement last week. Google has begun working with third-party apps to input their information into Google Now. Ride-sharing service and Uber competitor Lyft was found on the list of 40 newly-supported apps, but Uber was nowhere to be found.
Both companies declined to comment.